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‘Iran Says It Will 'automatically' Fulfill Nuclear Commitments If US Lifts Sanctions’

  • Category
    India & world
  • Published
    24th Nov, 2020

Iran said that it would “automatically” fulfil the nuclear commitments if US rejoins the Nuclear Accord of 2015 and lifts sanctions.

Context

Iran said that it would “automatically” fulfil the nuclear commitments if US rejoins the Nuclear Accord of 2015 and lifts sanctions.

About

  • In 2015, Iran agreed a long-term deal on its nuclear programme with a group of world powers known as the P5+1 - the US, UK, France, China, Russia and Germany.
  • It came after years of tension over Iran's alleged efforts to develop a nuclear weapon. Iran insisted that its nuclear programme was entirely peaceful, but the international community did not believe that.
  • The Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, offered Tehran billions of dollars in sanctions relief in exchange for agreeing to curb its nuclear program.
  • Under the accord, Iran agreed to limit its sensitive nuclear activities and allow in international inspectors.
  • Other countries that signed the deal with the U.S., including allies France, Britain and Francecalled on Washington to stick to the agreement.
  • The deal was sealed under President Barack Obama.

Why US quit the deal?

  • As of May 2018, there was broad consensus that Iran has abided by the agreement.
  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, however, has alleged that "Iran lied" about its nuclear weapon ambitions in the 2000s, although the information he shared seemed to match up with what nuclear inspectors had already reported about Tehran's program.
  • On May 8, 2018, Trump announced the U.S. would reimpose sanctions on Iran, leaving other nations involved scrambling to salvage the pact.
  • Restoring sanctionsamounts to a U.S. breach of the original deal whereas Iran was deemed to be compliant, according to international nuclear inspectors.

Is the deal mutually beneficial?

Both countries have an interest in bringing each other to the negotiation table and finally reaching an agreement.

  • Iranian front: For Iran, the time is perfect for diplomatic talks because of an ongoing crisis caused by the crippling U.S. sanctions and the Covid-19 pandemic.
    • The already struggling Iranian economy has been brought to the brink of collapse, exacerbated by low oil prices.
    • Engaging Washington in negotiations and halting its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief might be the only option Tehran has if it wishes to emerge from a devastating socio-financial crisis.
  • American front: On the American front, structural forces are rapidly shifting U.S. priorities in the Middle East, from which it is trying to disengage.
    • If Washington decides to seriously disengage from the Middle East before reaching an agreement, a nuclear-powered Iran would attempt to fill the power vacuumleft behind in the region, which is precisely what Americans have been trying to prevent for the past four decades.
    • Moreover, incessant and harsh U.S. sanctions could lead Iran to findother trade partners (such as Syria, China, and Russia), which would, in turn, hurt America’s economy and its geopolitical agenda and exacerbate this potential situation.
    • As such, it turns out that both Iran and the United States have more to lose from the current status quo than from a scenario wherein they finally reach a diplomatic agreement.
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