Libertatem Magazine

Iran’s Nuclear Deal: A New Horizon for Iran’s Nuclear Program

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Iran’s Nuclear program has always been a topic of controversy in the world, as the world’s major powers in general and the United States in particular, fearing that a Nuclear program of a ‘middle east’ nation would lead to severe consequences to the world. It is feared that an unregulated nuclear program poses a danger to the world as nuclear bombs and weaponry are deadly. Iran’s nuclear program was curbed by the U.S. back in 2011-2012 when the world’s superpower imposed restriction on its nuclear capacity by restricting its oil exports. The initial restrictions led to hue and cry all across the world as the restrictions fractured the terms between Iran and several countries as their oil imports were dependent on the former.

The recent historic nuclear deal of Iran is of great significant value. The deal has mandatorily meant that Iran will certainly lose its capacity to build nuclear weapons and the nuclear program would specifically be used for peaceful and energy requirement purposes. The deal is important for the rest of the world as it will, prima facie, lead to better relations with Iran, as the oil restrictions imposed earlier on Iran would be lifted. This would further strengthen Iran’s nuclear program and capacity to utilize nuclear energy in Iran. Iran is an OPEC member, but its oil production has been affected for years by sanctions over its nuclear program. Any easing of the sanctions could see Iran sell more oil, which could bring down crude oil prices. Iran also stands to receive more than $100 billion in assets that have been frozen overseas and will put an end to various financial restrictions on Iranian banks.

The recent nuclear deal is a comprehensive program where the terms and conditions are such that it will clearly restrict Iran’s nuclear weapon building capability. The framework agreement between Iran and U.S. and the rest of the world will have far reaching impacts on the geo-political relations between Middle East and South Asian regions. The deal clearly reflects hegemony of power that is vested in a world’s superpower, especially in the E.U. and the U.S. Their major concern initially was that Iran’s nuclear program will pose threats to the world and hence imposed sanctions on Iran. The deal clearly limits Iran’s uranium only to its one facility available in Natanz. For the enrichment purpose Iran has agreed to reduce by approximately two-thirds its installed centrifuges. Iran will go from having about 19,000 installed today to 6,104 installed under the deal, with only 5,060 of these enriching uranium for 10 years. All 6,104 centrifuges will be IR-1s, Iran’s first-generation centrifuge. Iran has agreed to reduce its current stockpile of about 10,000 kg of low-enriched uranium (LEU) to 300 kg of 3.67 percent LEU for 15 years. It has further consented to redesign its plutonium heavy water reactor in Arak to limit its nuclear weapon making capability and further restrict its nuclear capacity in Fordo, and restrict it only for the use of research and medical purposes. Another uranium plant, Natanz, has been planned to cut back by half its capacity which will mean that the plant will lose its capacity to produce a nuclear bomb. Iran has also agreed to limit enrichment to 3.7 percent and to cap its stockpile of low-enriched uranium at 300 kilograms, for 15 years. Basically, the restrictions are such that the Natanz and Fordo plants and the capacity of the weapon grade plutonium and the entire program have specifically been paralyzed and blocked to produce the capacity of making nuclear weapons with the reserved energy. The Arak’s reactor whose ‘spent fuel’, too is capable of producing weapon grade nuclear energy has been further planned to be shipped out of the country. The IAEA will be the monitoring agency and with advanced monitoring technologies  monitor all the elements of Iran’s nuclear deal. IAEA will also look forward to make sure that there are no covert diversions of Iran in its nuclear program. Once, the IAEA, has verified that Iran has maintained all the commitments of the deal then both the EU and the U.S. will lift all the nuclear related sanctions imposed earlier on Iran. For ten years, Iran will limit domestic enrichment capacity and research and development ensuring a breakout timeline of at least one year. Important inspections and transparency measures will continue well beyond 15 years. Iran’s adherence to the Additional Protocol of the IAEA is permanent, including its significant access and transparency obligations. The robust inspections of Iran’s uranium supply chain will last for 25 years. The inspection includes the checks by military institutions too. And if in case Iran does not comply with the directions of the deal, the U.N. sanctions will automatically snap back for a decade’s time, which can be further extended for a period of 5 more years.

This nuclear deal clearly reflects a great tussle in the international relations arena and power hegemony of the U.S., the European Union with that of the Middle East countries. Clearly, the EU and the U.S (along with the P5+1) countries will definitely have an edge over the Middle East nations. The sanctions were initially, placed on Iran, because the world perceived Iran as a nation that will become a threat once it uses its capacity to develop its nuclear weapon.

The present nuclear deal with Iran will specifically benefit a developing country like India as the lifting of oil sanctions will help India to keep friendly relations with Iran in terms of its oil imports. India will, in fact be highly pleased at the signing of a nuclear agreement between Iran and the West. It will bury the possibility of a US-Iran conflict and it will maintain pressures for low oil prices for several more years and hence a better oil resource and pricing for Indian use for a few more years depending upon the world’s oil scenario.

To conclude, the nuclear deal is a historic event, which reflects a state of happiness in Iran, as the lifting of sanctions means fair terms with several South Asian countries and a better political relation with the same. And also means a stable economy and the presence of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes in the country. The deal also reflects another evidence of a strong hegemony posed by the west, though with reasons and as a proponent of world peace and harmony yet tangled with clear political motives and power hegemony.

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