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Iran nuclear deal: Beginning of a new era

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Iran, the US and five other world powers have reached a landmark nuclear deal in Vienna on Tuesday after months of intense negotiations marking the beginning of a ‘new chapter’ in the relations between Iran and the West.

Representatives of Iran, the US and P5+1 group of world powers as well as European Union’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini were involved in the talks on limiting Tehran’s nuclear program for lifting economic sanctions on Iran that were imposed a decade ago. The historic deal would begin to be implemented by November and give Iran access to billions of frozen assets and oil revenue. While Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani welcomed the agreement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounced it calling it a "stunning historic mistake". The sanctions were imposed according to the UN resolution after Iran went ahead with its Uranium enrichment program. Even though Iran had always asserted that its nuclear program was for peaceful purposes, the West has been wary of the country emerging as a significant nuclear power and building atomic bombs. The relations between Iran and the West have been strained since the 1979 Islamic revolution under Ayatollah Khomeini. Reza Shah Pahlavi, the then autocratic leader of Iran backed by the US was overthrown during the revolution. The US and Britain had since then began efforts to destroy Iran which eventually led to the Iraq-Iran war that went on for eight long years. Saddam Hussein, who was earlier used to break up Iran, was later seen engaging in war with the US. At present, large swathes of Iraq are in the hands of the militant group, Islamic State, and the US and Iran is jointly working towards tackling them. The world politics have since then changed significantly.

Iran nuclear imbroglio has been in the headlines since August 2002. The world powers despite having dangerous nuclear arsenal have accused Iran of building its own civilian nuclear weapons. Iran’s constant affirmations that becoming a nuclear was not their target fell on deaf ears. Israel, Iran’s main opponent was behind the promulgations and the Western powers eventually succeeded in bringing about stringent sanctions on Iran. Even in the midst of sanctions, Iran continued to reinforce its nuclear resources. The world looked upon with anxiety the growing fissures between Iran and the US when Iran took harsher stance after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad , the conservative president was sworn into power in 2005. When a more moderate and diplomatic Hassan Rouhani was elected president in 2013, new hopes were generated triggering discourses about consensus. The US president also extended its support for Rouhani. The changes in governance in Iran as well as the US and the collapse of the world politics have also contributed to the latest nuclear deal.

As per the agreement, Iran would have to minimize the Uranium enrichment. The deal reduces the number of Iranian centrifuges by two-thirds. More international supervision would be allowed in the projects and in return for all these, the sanctions imposed on Iran would be revoked. According to the deal, the sanctions would be rapidly restored if the agreement is violated. Israel as well as the US republicans has strongly opposed the new deal. Israel would not obviously like Iran growing as a significant nuclear power. The new deal would have to overcome the opposition by the republicans in order to be a law in the US and a policy in the UN which would then bring hopes of joy for the Iranians as well as the peace seekers worldwide. India is one of the countries that could enjoy the fruits of the nuclear deal such as importing petroleum into the country at cheap rates which would be highly beneficial to the people. One has yet to see if the NDA government would take productive steps in this regard instead of strengthening the ties with Israel.

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