Iran Nuclear Deal’ Current Affairs - 2020

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Iran withdraws from the JCPOA deal completely

On January 5, 2020, Iran had completely withdrawn from JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) nuclear deal. The announcement came after the US troops killed General Qassem Soleimani.

Highlights

In 2018, the United States walked away from the nuclear deal. However, the other participants such as Russia, China, European Union, France, Germany and UK tried to keep the agreement alive. According to the deal, Iran curbed its nuclear programme in exchange to relief from sanctions.

Several organisations including the United Nations found that Iran was compliant towards the agreement. However, US was insistent on withdrawing from the agreement.

Why did US pull out of the deal?

According to the Unites States, the JCPOA gives Iran access to billions of dollars. However, its does not stop Iran from supporting the groups that US and its allies consider terrorists. It mainly includes Hamas and Hezbollah.

Hamas

Hamas is a Sunni-Islamic militant organisation. It was founded in 1987 and since then has fought several wars against US, Israel and European Union. Some of the countries that were constantly supporting Hamas were China, Russia and Turkey.

Hezbollah

The organisation was founded in 1980s and its members follow Shia Islamism. Hezbollah currently is a proxy of Iran in the ongoing Iran-Israel conflict.

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Iran tests Medium-Range Missile: US Official

United States military official reported Iran test-launched Shahab-3, a Medium-Range Ballistic Missile inside its borders. Missile was launched from southern coast of Iran and landed east of Tehran. It flew about 1,100 km, however did not pose threat to U.S. or other Western military or shipping bases in region.

Key Highlights

Tensions in Iran & West: The test came amid heightened tensions between Iran and West, mainly over safety of commercial shipping in Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz. The missile test also defies demand by US President Donald Trump administration that Iran must curtail its weapon program and rather demonstrates its intent to further push back against U.S. sanctions.

Calculated move by Iran: Despite US’s effort to minimise strategic importance of launch, it appears to be a political statement by Iran, acting both as a carefully calibrated effort at escalation and also as a message to Europe.

UNSC Resolution: Missile launches are not forbidden under 2015 Iran nuclear deal (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action). This has been is one of President Donald Trump’s complaints about JCPAO agreement which his administration abandoned in 2018. However a United Nation Security Council (UNSC) resolution, passed just as the nuclear agreement was reached in 2015, says that- Iran is called upon not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, this includes launches using such ballistic missile technology.

About Shahab-3

It is a liquid-fueled, medium-range ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear weapon. It is backbone of Iran’s class of medium-range missiles. It is derived from a North Korean missile called Nodong-A.

Iranian news outlets previously called Shahab-3 as one of country’s Israel-hitting missiles.

Range:  It can fly 1150-2000 kilometers, or even upto 1,242 miles, depending on variant.

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