By Ashna Butani
The Iran Nuclear deal was signed by China, France, Russia, Germany, US, UK and Iran in 2015. The deal was considered to be one of the greatest achievements of Obama’s foreign policy, however, President Trump thinks otherwise. In his words, the deal is one of the worst and most one-sided transactions that the United States has ever entered into.
After accusing Iran of violating several clauses, Trump has pledged to address the deal’s flaws. Terming the deal ‘too lenient’ he threatened to re-impose oil-sanctions. Iran has responded by saying that it will back out from the deal if the US takes any such action. The situation has instilled fear among the world powers, which are now requesting Trump to hold off on any decisions.
What is in the deal?
The signatories of the original deal decided to curb Iran’s nuclear plans by establishing a framework for controlling the country’s nuclear programme. Under the deal, Iran’s uranium stockpile was to be reduced by 98% over the next 15 years. Iran, which had been building a heavy-water nuclear facility, was also compelled to redesign its reactor.
The UN also plays an important part in the deal. Iran had to allow the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to inspect any site deemed suspicious and a UN ban on the import of inter-ballistic missile technology was imposed. The country also agreed to stop any research that may lead to the creation of a nuclear bomb.The deal maintained that, in case of any violation, the UN would reimpose the oil sanctions which had previously crippled the Iranian economy.
In practice, the deal has proved beneficial for both sides. Under close scrutiny by the IAEA—the United Nations nuclear watchdog—Iran has kept its word so far. Development of a civilian nuclear programme has worked to the country’s advantage as many countries have invested in the Iranian oil sector. The chief EU negotiator on the nuclear deal, Mogherini, said that the deal is doing what it promised, it has succeeded in keeping Iran’s nuclear programme in check.
USA’s new stand on the deal
Under the leadership of Donald Trump, a shift has been observed in US foreign policy. The country is now at odds with several signatories of the deal, including Russia, China, and the EU. In an attempt to rewrite major foreign policy decisions taken by Barack Obama, Trump has intimated his desire to withdraw the United States from the deal. He has also said that new sanctions may be imposed. However, many of his top advisors are urging him not to withdraw from the deal. French President Emmanuel Macron has also urged Trump to uphold his end of the deal.
Growing concerns by the EU and Trump’s advisors have had little effect on the president’s attitude towards Iran. Tensions continue to increase as Tehran has responded with threats to build its nuclear arsenal. If Trump goes ahead with the imposition of new sanctions or a withdrawal from the deal, it is unlikely that Iran will comply without the US having to face a backlash from its own allies.
Featured Image Source: Flickr
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