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Talks Re Opened on Iran Nuclear Deal

 

Iran Nuclear Deal UPSC: Relevance

  • GS 2: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

 

JCPOA UPSC: Context

  • Recently, Iran has said that it is awaiting US response to “solutions” discussed with the EU envoy for breaking a stalemate in talks aimed at restoring the 2015 nuclear deal.

 

Iran nuclear deal news: Key points

  • Iran has been engaged in direct negotiations with France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China to revive the nuclear deal. The US has participated indirectly.
  • Talks, however, remains stalled for two months due to some sticky points discussed later in this article.

 

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Iran nuclear agreement: Sticky issues

  • One of the major stumbling blocks is Tehran’s demand that the US State Department removes Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from its list of foreign terrorist organisations.
  • Washington has so far resisted, claiming that the issue falls outside the scope of the nucleal deal and should not be linked to the discussions.

 

What is Iran nuclear deal?

  • In 2015, P5+1 countries-– the US, UK, France, China, Russia and Germany—signed a nuclear deal with Iran, formally called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that was acclaimed as the biggest diplomatic achievement of the then US government.
  • The original agreement required Iran to send abroad about 98 percent of its enriched uranium and it limited its nuclear capacity, with independent observers monitoring its progress.
  • In return, the US removed sanctions that opened Iran up to the world economy.
  • The JCPOA, according to international monitors, achieved its goal of curtailing Iran’s nuclear program.

 

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Iran nuclear talks: Annulment of the nuclear deal

  • In 2018, Trump administration unilaterally pulled out of the JCPOA in 2018 and imposed a “maximum pressure” sanctions campaign.
  • Those sanctions continue to be punishing for Iranians, especially throughout the pandemic, and have severely limited access to medicine and food.
  • In 2019, Iran started breaching its side of the agreement.
  • Subsequently, its nuclear program has reached more advanced stages. Iran’s stockpile of uranium has expanded, with levels of enrichment much higher than permitted under the 2015 deal.
  • At this point, Iran may be able to produce the material for a weapon in less than six weeks. (The JCPOA had put that time at about a year.)

 

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