Iran’s nuclear deal

Iran’s nuclear deal
According to the UN watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Iran is in complete compliance of the nuclear deal. Iran’s current nuclear program involves several..

According to the UN watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Iran is in complete compliance of the nuclear deal.

Background

Iran’s current nuclear program involves several research sites, two uranium mines, a research reactor, and uranium processing facilities. The country ratified the Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1970. Thus, its nuclear program has to be subject to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) verification.

In the 2000s, reports began emerging on Iran running a uranium enrichment program in secret.  An investigation by the IAEA revealed that Iran had not declared a number of its nuclear activities to the group. Thus, the nation was subjected to multiple harsh sanctions from the international community. This has cost the nation billions of dollars (estimated $100 billion in oil revenues alone till 2015). It has also lost out on foreign direct investment.

On 2 April 2015, the P5+1 and Iran reached a provisional agreement that sought to lift most of the sanctions in exchange for limits on Iran's nuclear programs extending for at least ten years. When the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) certified that Iran had restricted its sensitive nuclear activities, the UN sanctions were lifted on January 16, 2016.

United States and Iran do not have any formal diplomatic relations or ties. The two nations share an acrimonious relationship. In 2002, US President, George W Bush, referred to Iran as being part of the “axis of evil.”

Analysis

US President Donald Trump has been extremely critical of the nuclear deal and has threatened to revoke it multiple times. He recently told reporters that the nation was allegedly not living up to their end of the agreement. He said, “I don’t think they’re living up to the spirit of the agreement. They are not in compliance with the agreement and they certainly are not in the spirit of the agreement in compliance, and I think you’ll see some very strong things taking place if they don’t get themselves in compliance.”

In August, US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley visited IAEA headquarters to tell agency to be more vigilant in its inspections. It has been reported that Haley did not present agency authorities with any evidence backing the claims made by the US.

The latest report from the IAES affirms that Iran has not exceeded the agreed limit of 300kgs of uranium. The agency has also confirmed that the nation’s stock of low-enriched uranium is being used for peaceful purposes only.

Despite US’ resistance, the nuclear deal has been backed by European nations in the recent months. European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said, “The deal with Iran shows the way, the European way to foreign policy. This was not an agreement between two countries, I have repeated it time and again and I have the impression that we will need to repeat it time and again in the months to come. This is a matter of international security, international safety, and also a matter of credibility of international agreements.”

Iran has publicly affirmed its commitment to the deal several times this year.

Assessment

Our assessment is that despite pressure from the US to dissolve the agreement, the nuclear deal is likely to remain in place. This deal has the backing of multiple nations especially across Europe and several companies have already begun investing in Iran’s oil reserves. As long as Iran can prove its intent of adhering to the deal, it shall remain. 

Comments