IRAN IN THE NEWS TODAY: IRAN LIKELY TO QUIT NUCLEAR DEAL BEFORE AMERICA
For the first time since around 2015 that Iran and 6 global powers (the US, the UK, Germany, China, France, and Russia) penned a critical nuclear deal, Iran is redesigning its strategy. Recently, there are indications that this Islamic republic – whose capital city is Tehran – may be contemplating an exit. On Thursday, February 22, Iran issued an ultimatum that it’ll put a stop to its cooperation in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, JCPOA, if it does not see any economic gains from the accord and if primary financial institutions, corporations, and businesses remain obdurate in doing business with Iran as a result of the negative remarks made by American president Donald Trump.
Iran cannot continue to be a part of a deal that is not beneficial to it, Abbas Araghchi, the Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs of the country, says in a chat with Chatham House in London. Araghchi, who maintains a close relationship with Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran, cast an aspersion on Trump, saying that the US helmsman violated the agreement of the deal by allowing a destructive environment to fester. Araghchi was among the major negotiators of JCPOA.
On the other part of the divide, the White House has been threatening to pull out of the deal for months if its unproductive limitations are not addressed. President Trump, in January, gave an ultimatum to the US allies in Europe, saying that it is either they correct the issues in the agreement or America would quit it by May 12. The ratification of the next American sanctions waiver is billed to take place on this date.
The US leadership identified 3 challenges with the accord. The first is the lack of success in addressing the ballistic missile program of Iran; the second problem is the terms under which global inspectors can check suspect nuclear sites in Iran, and the last one is the sunset clause under which restrictions placed on the nuclear scheme of Iran begin to expire after one decade. When other countries that are part of the deal rejected the call by the US to tackle these issues, backing their stance with the notion that all the points raised are not within the scope of JCPOA, Trump suggested a somewhat clandestine supplemental arrangement, which tackles all 3 issues raised by the US.
The Saudi Connection
According to media reports, Trump is entering into a fresh atomic energy deal with Saudi Arabia that is potentially rewarding. This development may clarify why he is so unrelenting in ensuring that the Iran deal’s conditions are tighter. In a news report published by the Washington Post, it was claimed that the Gulf kingdom is unwilling to include any conditions, which would limit the capabilities of its uranium enrichment program, in the billion dollar accord, unless the nuclear arrangement with Iran, its chief adversary, is tightened.
Iran makes its way into the news quite often and these are some of the most talked and about discussed moments.