DEAL IN DANGER: ON IRAN AND NUCLEAR DEAL
13, May 2019
Prelims level : International Mains level : Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International Relations
Why in News:
- Iran’s decision to reduce its commitments under the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which sought to curtail its nuclear capabilities, is more of a warning than a move to break the nuclear deal
- Iran has been under economic and political pressure since President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of the deal a year ago. The U.S. has since amped up its anti-Iran rhetoric and reimposed sanctions.
- With the U.S. having ended the sanctions-waiver it had given to certain countries, including India, on purchasing Iranian oil, the Iranian economy has come under more pressure.
- Iran will immediately stop shipping out excess enriched uranium and heavy water. Mr. Rouhani has given 60 days to other signatories to find solutions to shield Iran’s banking and oil sectors from U.S. sanctions. The big threat is that it will resume higher levels of enrichment to build weapons unless its grievances are addressed in 60 days
- Iran’s move to put the remaining signatories on notice could be the start of the formal unravelling of the deal. If Europe doesn’t do enough in 60 days and Iran sticks to its threat, the deal will collapse, giving more reason to the U.S. to escalate hostilities
- A collapse of the deal would not only exacerbate the Iran nuclear crisis but also set a bad precedent in international diplomacy.
Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)
- The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) known commonly as the Iran deal, is an international agreement on the nuclear program of Iran reached in Vienna on 14 July 2015 between Iran, the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council—China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States—plus Germany),and the European Union.
- With this decision President Trump is risking U.S. national security, recklessly upending foundational partnerships with key U.S. allies in Europe and gambling with Israel’s security.
- Withdrawal from the JCPOA makes it more likely Iran will restart its nuclear weapons program in the future
- The U.S. stands isolated in its decision. Europe and other powers (UN permanent members) should stick together to respect the mandate of an international agreement. Any sanctions imposed by U.S. will hurt the global economy and may force Iran to stock nuclear weapons, further complicating the situation.
- Thus, the need of the hour is to standby with the agreement even after the U.S. has withdrawn.