Thursday, December 12, 2013

On Iran and Nuclear Agreement


The long stalemate situation pertain Iran and its nuclear programme finally eased a bit with the Geneva accord. After the change in the government in Iran, the new Prime Minister Hassan Rouhani came forward with a conciliatory tone which is seen as a major reason behind the easing of tension.

Iran has agreed to halt enriching Uranium above 5% (which potentially can produce Plutonium), neutralise Uranium already enriched above 20%. In return the easing of sanctions allows flow of $7 billion frozen assets and no additional sanctions will be imposed. The agreement sets a six-month time frame for a more comprehensive follow-up agreement between Iran and the P5+1 negotiators to formalize Iran's nuclear relationship with the world

The present break through is seen as the greatest achievement of the Obama government as similar to Nixon’s meeting with Chinese counterparts in 1972.

Earlier the US had brought Iran under punishing sanctions to bring Iran on the negotiation table. The growing nuclear enrichment capability of Iran is seen as a major security threat in the middle-east region. Saudi Arabi, Qatar and Israel have been in favour of military action against the ancient country with apprehensions of the possible deepening of the sectarian crises in the region. Iran has been strongly supporting Syria, Lebanon and Iraq in the region.

The challenges in the middle-east are many ranging from environmental degradation, sectarian tension, extremism, terrorism, economic and cultural cooperation, confidence building and security concerns.

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What Wikipedia Tells:

The agreement makes the following stipulations on the Iranian nuclear program:
·         All uranium enriched beyond 5% will either be diluted or converted to uranium oxide. No new uranium at the 3.5% enrichment level will be added to Iran's current stock.
·         No new centrifuges will be installed or prepared for installation.
·         50% of the centrifuges at the Natanz enrichment facility and 75% at the Fordow enrichment facility will be left inoperable. Iran will not use its advanced IR-2 centrifuges for enrichment.
·         Iran will not develop any new uranium enrichment or nuclear reprocessing facilities.
·         No fuel will be produced, tested, or transferred to the Arak nuclear power plant. In addition, Iran will share design details of the reactor.
·         The IAEA will be granted daily access to Natanz and Fordow, with certain sites monitored by 24-hour cameras. The IAEA will also have access to Iran's uranium mines and centrifuge production facilities.
·         Iran will address IAEA questions related to possible military dimensions of the nuclear program and provide data expected as part of an Additional Protocol.



Arab nations Iraq, Syria, Kuwait, Qatar, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and the Palestinian Authority have come out in favor of the temporary agreement. Lebanon also hailed the agreement, while emphasizing that Israel should also sign the NPT and rid itself of its nuclear weapons arsenal. Turkey, India and Pakistan have also welcomed the framework agreement. In a reference to Israel's arsenal of nuclear weapons, Saudi Arabia and Qatar both advocated a comprehensive solution to Iran's nuclear issue which would leave the entire Middle East free of nuclear weapons.

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