Iran Nuclear Deal’ Current Affairs - 2019
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United States President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew US from historic 2015 Iran nuclear deal or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) deal signed between Iran and P5+1 countries. It also reimposed sanctions on Iran that were lifted by the JCPOA. Trump administration cited that it cannot prevent Iran nuclear bomb and nuclear deal is defective at its core as it does not target Iran’s ballistic missile programme, its nuclear activities beyond 2025, and its role in conflicts in Yemen and Syria. However other parties to the deal China, France, Russia, UK, Germany and European Union are still supporting it, thus avoiding entire collapse of JCPOA.
Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)
It is informally called as ‘Iran nuclear deal’. It is multilateral nuclear deal signed between Iran and P5+1 (five permanent members of United Nations Security Council- US, China, France, Russia, and UK), plus Germany and European Union (EU), in Vienna in July 2015.
The JCPOA is aimed at preventing Iran from building nuclear weapon, involved lifting of international sanctions in return for Tehran curbing its nuclear programme. This plan ensured that Iran will drastically reduce its uranium enriching capacity and levels, enriched stockpiles and centrifuges and will allow for stringent inspection and monitoring by international agencies including International International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
In exchange for Iran compliance to deal, economic sanctions that had kept Iran away from international banking and the global oil trade were lifted It allowed Iran to make business deals and also unfroze billions of dollars Iran had overseas before multilateral sanctions were imposed on Iran over its nuclear programme.
The United States has imposed new economic sanctions against Iran over its ballistic missile programme and for contributing to regional tensions.
Under the new sanctions, the US Department of Treasury targeted 16 entities and individuals from Iran citing them as illicit Iranian actors or transnational criminal activity. Those sanctioned mainly targets Iran for developing drones and military equipment, producing and maintaining boats, and procuring electronic components.
The sanctions were imposed day after US certified that Iran is complying with the 2015 Nuclear Deal and it will continue to receive nuclear-related sanctions relief. This was the second time, Trump administration certified Iran’s compliance to 2015 Nuclear Deal.
About 2015 Nuclear Deal
The 2015 Nuclear Deal was a preliminary framework agreement signed between Iran and P5+1 countries (United States, United Kingdom, Russia, France, China- plus Germany) and the European Union in July 2015. The deal is also called as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPA) or Vienna agreement.
The deal aims to stop Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon in return for lifting international oil and financial sanctions. Under it, Iran has agreed to give up its most advanced centrifuges and use only its oldest models. But it still allows Iran to continue enrichment in lower quantities for civilian purposes such as power plants.
As part of the deal Iran has agreed to reduce its stockpile of uranium by 98%. Under this deal, Iran could keep 300 kg enriched uranium for the next 15 years and it will get rid of extra uranium by shipping it to Russia. The deal also sets up a comprehensive inspections regime that gives inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) extraordinary and robust access to Iranian nuclear facilities.
Under this deal, global economic sanctions imposed over Iran nuclear programme will be removed. However sanctions related to other aspects of Iran’s behaviour, such as ballistic-missile programme, human-rights issues, support of terrorism and its will not be affected.