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Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)

Topics covered:

  1. Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

 

Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)

 

What to study?

For prelims and Mains: Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)- objectives, why US has withdrawn from this, implications and what needs to be done?

 

Context: Iran will reduce some of its commitments to the nuclear deal in response to the United States’ decision to withdrew from the 2015 multilateral deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

 

What is the iran nuclear deal?

  • Iran agreed to rein in its nuclear programme in a 2015 deal struck with the US, UK, Russia, China, France and Germany.
  • Under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) Tehran agreed to significantly cut its stores of centrifuges, enriched uranium and heavy-water, all key components for nuclear weapons.
  • The JCPOA established the Joint Commission, with the negotiating parties all represented, to monitor implementation of the agreement.

 

Why did Iran agree to the deal?

It had been hit with devastating economic sanctions by the United Nations, United States and the European Union that are estimated to have cost it tens of billions of pounds a year in lost oil export revenues. Billions in overseas assets had also been frozen.

 

Why has US pulled out of the deal?

Trump and opponents to the deal say it is flawed because it gives Iran access to billions of dollars but does not address Iran’s support for groups the U.S. considers terrorists, like Hamas and Hezbollah. They note it also doesn’t curb Iran’s development of ballistic missiles and that the deal phases out by 2030. They say Iran has lied about its nuclear program in the past.

 

What are the implications of US sanctions on Iran?

  • Other countries have promised to uphold it but their ability to do so will depend on how their companies can be firewalled from U.S. sanctions if they continue their engagement with Iran.
  • The sanctions often referred to as “secondary sanctions”, which primarily target non-US companies engaging in business in or with Iran entirely outside US jurisdiction.

 

Other concerns:

  • Iran can make things difficult for the U.S. in Afghanistan as also in Iraq and Syria.
  • The U.S.’s ability to work with Russia in Syria or with China regarding North Korea will also be impacted.
  • And sooner or later, questions may be asked in Iran about why it should continue with other restrictions and inspections that it accepted under the JCPOA, which would have far-reaching implications for the global nuclear architecture.
  • Coming after the rejection of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Paris climate change accord and the North American Free Trade Agreement, President’s decision further diminishes U.S. credibility.

 

Sources: The Hindu.