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The Hindu explains: The Iran deal

In this July 14, 2015 file photo, from left to right: European Union High Representative Federica Mogherini, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry pose for a group picture at the United Nations building in Vienna, Austria.   | Photo Credit: AP

Five years after Hassan Rouhani took charge as the President of Iran, and three years after the U.S. and other members of the U.N. Security Council reached an agreement with Iran on the latter’s nuclear facilities, the Trump administration may take steps to withdraw from the deal.

The deal was reached after intense negotiations and decades of economic sanctions imposed on Iran by the U.S. and its allies. All that could be undone by U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision.

Here is a timeline on Iran’s nuclear programme and its deal with world powers on curtailing it:

1967

The U.S. built the very nuclear programme in Iran that it tried to shut down over the next few decades. This was under the ‘Atoms for Peace’ programme which supplied equipment and information to Iran, Israel and Pakistan among other countries, an effort begun by U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower as a Cold War strategy.

1979

A view of protestors outside the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979.

A view of protestors outside the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979.   | Photo Credit: The Hindu Archives

The sanctions first began in 1979, after the Iran hostage crisis. A group of Iranian students, belonging to the Muslim Student Followers of the Imam’s Line, a group that supported the Iranian Revolution, took U.S. Embassy officials in Tehran hostage. Fifty-two diplomats and American citizens were held hostage for 444 days in the longest hostage crisis so far. The Pahlavi dynasty that had been in power in Iran, was supported by the U.S. and the students saw them as undermining the revolution.

The U.S., then under the Jimmy Carter administration, passed an Executive Order that effectively froze about $12 billion of Iranian government assets on U.S. soil.

1996

During Bill Clinton’s second term, the U.S. Congress passed the Iran and Libya Sanctions Act, later renamed as the Iran Sanctions Act as sanctions against Libya were lifted in 2006. Congress had placed sanctions on all trade with Iran.

Mr. Clinton also issued an Executive Order that prohibited U.S. trade in Iran’s oil industry. After Mohammad Khatami was elected as Iran’s President in 1997, sanctions were reduced for some items like pharmaceutical products and medical equipment.

2005

In this April, 9, 2007 file photo, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks at a ceremony in Iran's nuclear enrichment facility in Natanz, south of capital Tehran, Iran.

In this April, 9, 2007 file photo, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks at a ceremony in Iran's nuclear enrichment facility in Natanz, south of capital Tehran, Iran.   | Photo Credit: AP

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was the Iranian President when the government lifted the suspension on uranium enrichment, an agreement Iran had with the EU trio — France, Germany and Italy. This led to U.S. President George W. Bush signing an Executive Order that froze the assets of individuals connected to Iran’s nuclear program.

2006

The U.N. adopted a resolution that imposed sanctions on Iran, which it tightened three more times in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

2010

The U.S. Congress under President Barack Obama passed the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010 which punished U.S. companies and individuals who work with Iran’s petroleum sector.

2013

In this photo released by the official website of the office of the Iranian Presidency, President Hassan Rouhani speaks in a meeting with officials in the northeastern city of Mashhad, Monday, May 7, 2018.

In this photo released by the official website of the office of the Iranian Presidency, President Hassan Rouhani speaks in a meeting with officials in the northeastern city of Mashhad, Monday, May 7, 2018.   | Photo Credit: AP

 

As Hassan Rouhani was sworn in as President in Iran, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 400 to 20 in favour of tougher sanctions. This was despite the fact that 131 of the House’s members wrote to Mr. Obama asking him to “reinvigorate” nuclear talks with Iran.

2015

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, commonly known as the Iran deal, was signed on July 14, 2015 between Iran, the U.S., China, France, Russia, the U.K., Germany and the European Union. Under this deal, Iran agreed not to build any more heavy water facilities, eliminate its stockpile or medium-enriched uranium, cut its stockpile of low-enriched uranium, and reduce the number of its gas centrifuges. Other nuclear facilities in Iran would have to be converted into non-nuclear facilities. The International Atomic Energy Agency will have access to all facilities in Iran to monitor and verify if the West Asian country was acceding to the terms of the agreement.

In return, Iran will recover assets worth $100 billion frozen in overseas banks, and sanctions on the country by the U.S., the U.N. and the E.U. will be lifted.

2017

“Iran was on its last legs and ready to collapse until the U.S. came along and gave it a life-line in the form of the Iran Deal: $150 billion,” U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted in February 2017. In October 2017, Mr. Trump announced that he would not recertify the deal.

He also tweeted that he will make his announcement regarding the deal on Tuesday, May 8, 2018. This comes just days before the May 12 deadline when he will have to decide to renew or remove the waivers on the U.S. sanctions against Iran.


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Printable version | Jan 19, 2022 2:15:11 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/the-hindu-explains-the-iran-deal/article23813994.ece

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