In the context of recent developments, this paper reviews US President Donald Trump’s Iran strategy and explores possible pathways to a new nuclear agreement with the Islamic Republic.
Iran’s nuclear program began during the 1950s. The United States has expressed concern since the mid-1970s that Tehran might develop nuclear weapons. Iran’s construction of gas centrifuge uranium enrichment facilities is currently the main source of proliferation concern. Gas centrifuges can produce both low-enriched uranium (LEU), which can be used in nuclear power reactors, and weapons-grade highly enriched uranium (HEU), which is one of the two types of fissile material used in nuclear weapons.
A senior Iranian delegation arrived in Paris on Monday to work out the details of a financial bailout package that France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, intends to use to compensate Iran for oil sales lost to American sanctions. In return for the money, Iran would agree to return to compliance with a 2015 nuclear accord. Iranian press reports and a senior American official say that the core of the package is a $15 billion letter of credit that would allow Iran to receive hard currency, at a time when most of the cash it makes from selling oil is frozen in banks around the world. That would account for about half the revenue Iran normally would expect to earn from oil exports in a year.
2019-08-30Verification and monitoring in the Islamic Republic of Iran in light of United Nations Security Council resolution 2231 (2015) Report by the Acting Director General
... The Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material at the nuclear facilities and locations outside facilities where nuclear material is customarily used (LOFs) declared by Iran under its Safeguards Agreement. Evaluations regarding the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities for Iran remained ongoing. ...
2019-07-01The Iran Nuclear Deal: Letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Signed by Prominent Academics and Activists
[...] In the past few weeks there have been some mediation efforts to stabilize the dangerous situation facing the Iranian people. We, the undersigned, appeal to you to use your position as Secretary General of the UN to request the US returns to its obligations under JCPOA, lift the economic sanctions, halt the military threats against the people and the country of Iran, and stop fictitious provocations that clearly could lead to military hostilities and expose the entire region to detrimental violence.
Despite the tensions and rhetoric, Europe and Iran have to date remained committed to preserve the JCPOA. The practical behind-the-scenes work to keep diplomacy on track is exemplified by the state-owned entity INSTEX, intended to alleviate restrictions on sanctions-exempt humanitarian trade. These restrictions stem from the reluctance of European companies and banks to conduct cross-border transactions with Iran due to a lack of clear guidance from the US Departments of State and Treasury....
[…] In this article, I will review the history of the Iranian nuclear issue from this perspective. This history is instructive because it sheds light on political trends both within the United States and Iran; it also reveals how arms-control issues have been used by Western nations to destabilize governments that they view unfavourably. I will conclude with some comments on the positions adopted by the Indian government, and a brief outlook on where these events might lead. ...
2019-06-11Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement and answers to questions at the Primakov Readings International Forum, June 11, 2019
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov answers to questions about JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action).
In 2015, Iran agreed a long-term deal on its nuclear programme with a group of world powers known as the P5+1 - the US, UK, France, China, Russia and Germany. It came after years of tension over Iran's alleged efforts to develop a nuclear weapon. Iran insisted that its nuclear programme was entirely peaceful, but the international community did not believe that. Under the accord, Iran agreed to limit its sensitive nuclear activities and allow in international inspectors in return for the lifting of crippling economic sanctions. Here are the commitments set out in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
2019-05-31Verification and monitoring in the Islamic Republic of Iran in light of United Nations Security Council resolution 2231 (2015)
Summary 27. The Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material at the nuclear facilities and locations outside facilities where nuclear material is customarily used (LOFs) declared by Iran under its Safeguards Agreement. Evaluations regarding the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities for Iran remained ongoing. 28. Since Implementation Day, the Agency has been verifying and monitoring the implementation by Iran of its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA. 29. The Director General will continue to report as appropriate