20% Special Sale Ends Today! Hurry Up!!!

New US-Iran Nuclear Deal- Background, New Arrangements & Significance

From Current Affairs Notes for UPSC » Editorials & In-depths » This topic

The US and Iran are reportedly working on a new nuclear deal, years after US’ exit from the 2015 JCPOA. Though the deal is more of a ‘good faith’ arrangement, it is expected to pave way for more sustainable bilateral negotiations between Iran and the global powers.

This topic of “New US-Iran Nuclear Deal- Background, New Arrangements & Significance” is important from the perspective of the UPSC IAS Examination, which falls under General Studies Portion.

Background:

  • The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (commonly called Iran Nuclear Arrangement) is an international accord signed between Iran on one side and several world powers (P5+1) on the other side- Germany and the P5 (permanent members) of UNSC (USA, UK, France, Russia and China).
  • Under this 2015 agreement,
    • Iran agreed to dismantle a large part of its nuclear program.
    • It also agreed to open its nuclear facilities to extensive international inspections by the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency).
    • In exchange, it would receive sanctions relief.
  • This deal was concluded with the objective of preventing Iran from proceeding with its nuclear weapons program.
  • However, USA withdrew from this landmark deal in 2018, putting the arrangement in jeopardy.
  • Following this development, Iran has resumed some of its nuclear activities.
    • Its uranium enrichment program has reached 84%.
    • It has stockpiled thousands of centrifuges.
  • In the recent months, Iran and USA have been interacting to thaw the ties, including a readiness for a fresh deal on the nuclear issue. Following interactions with the USA, through Oman, the Iranian leadership called for a new nuclear deal, as opposed to the revival of the earlier deal.

What do the new arrangements entail?

  • The new deal is to be an informal and unwritten ‘mini-agreement’.
  • For Iran’s part:
    • Iran to freeze its nuclear enrichment at 60%.
    • The new deal has to ensure that the country’s nuclear infrastructure remain in place.
    • The country has no interest in nuclear weapon.
    • The leadership is ready to cooperate with IAEA inspectors.
  • Apart from this, the country will also:
    • Not attack US military contractors in Iraq and Syria.
    • Not supply ballistic missiles to Russia.
    • Release the 3 US citizens under its custody.
  • In return, US is to:
    • Refrain from imposing new harsh sanctions on Iran.
    • Not seize oil tankers in the Gulf waters.
    • Not pursue anti-Iran resolutions at the UN.
    • Un-freeze Iran’s bank accounts, accounting for some $80 billion, in different banks outside the country.
    • Allow the release of:
      • $7 billion in South Korea
      • $2.7 billion in Iraq

Prelims Sureshots – Most Probable Topics for UPSC Prelims

A Compilation of the Most Probable Topics for UPSC Prelims, including Schemes, Freedom Fighters, Judgments, Acts, National Parks, Government Agencies, Space Missions, and more. Get a guaranteed 120+ marks!

What is the significance?

  • The new deal is being perceived as a ‘political ceasefire’. According to the US military, Iran is just months away from building a nuclear weapon. This is a source of concern as it could push Israel to take pre-emptive military action, with/ without US support.
  • Another significance of this deal is that it could discourage Saudi Arabia’s nuclear aspirations as well.      
  • The deal could release millions of dollars in the shorter term, for Iran, especially at a time when its population is facing dire living conditions.
  • It will also enable Iran to sell its oil in the global market more freely.
  • The deal could also be used to improve the Iran-Saudi Arabia ties. Iran could also use this to expand its political and economic ties with China and Russia.
  • This new move is also significant given the changing perspective in the US:
    • Recognition that the JCPOA cannot be revived in its original form.
    • Demand for a broad framework to address several issues regarding Iran:
      • Iranian development of ballistic missiles.
      • Iran’s ‘malign’ role in West Asia.
      • The country’s support for terrorism.
    • Recognition that sanctions are no longer effective in influencing the country’s responses to pressures from the US.

What is the way ahead?

  • Israel isn’t expected to abide by the new deal’s conditions and Iran doesn’t expect long-term value from the deal either.
  • Since this is to be an unwritten agreement, the US government will not have to seek approval from its Congress.
  • Also, as it doesn’t entail a stop to the existing sanctions from the US government, the new deal is expected to face lesser political resistance.
  • If this ‘good faith’ agreement holds, it could pave the way for more serious bilateral engagement on other matters of common concern.

Conclusion:

The US has long recognized the impracticality of reviving the JCPOA after the 2018-exit. With Iran’s reported progress with its nuclear program, there is a growing concerns over a region-wide conflagration. Hence, the proposed new deal, despite its informality, may prove to be a first step to thaw Iran’s ties with the West.

Practice Question for Mains:

How does the new Iranian nuclear deal differ from the 2015 JCPOA? Explain. (250 words)

Related Posts

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
X
Home Courses Plans Account
20% Special Sale Ends Today! Hurry Up!!!