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Donald Trump’s withdrawal from nuclear deal lacks detail

But the announcement was short on specifics, including which sanctions – they cover industries ranging from petroleum to transportation to insurance – will be restored first. And it was not clear whether the decision will lead to a collapse of the agreement, which involves five other countries.

…….. the American withdrawal does not necessarily mean the Iran agreement collapses — at least not immediately. Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia are still parties to the agreement. If they all agree to maintain it, the effect of restored American sanctions on Iran may be softened.

And Mr. Trump held out the possibility of negotiating a new agreement with Iran, though its leaders have said that won’t happen.

All restrictions on Iran’s nuclear activities under the agreement remain in place.

The country still has less than enough uranium fuel for a single bomb, and cannot exceed that amount for at least 15 years. International nuclear inspectors are still deployed in Iran to ensure its compliance.

The lifting of sanctions by the European Union under the deal will still provide Iran with some economic relief, including a market for Iran’s petroleum exports.

If the deal collapses, Iran will presumably be free to restart thousands of centrifuges mothballed under the agreement. That would let it increase its uranium fuel supply — without the close monitoring of the International Atomic Energy Agency. The agency has been monitoring Iran’s adherence to the accord.

Iran has said it could restore its uranium-enriching capability quickly, which could put it closer to a weapons path. But that might put at Iran risk of economic isolation, at least by the European countries that agreed to the accord.

……..What nuclear capabilities did Iran have before the deal?

Iran had the technical capability to become a nuclear-weapons state, experts say. According to United States intelligence agency assessments, the Iranians once operated a covert nuclear weapons development program that they discontinued in 2003. While Iran has repeatedly asserted that its nuclear activities are for peaceful use only, it had amassed a stockpile of uranium that further refining could have turned into fuel for nuclear bombs.

By some reckonings, Iran needed only a few months to make the required bomb fuel. It would have needed considerably more time to make a reliable warhead for a missile to deliver such a weapon.

What did Iran get in return?

Sanctions relief

United Nations sanctions tied to Iran’s nuclear work were terminated. The European Union ended an Iranian oil embargo. The United States unfroze billions of dollars of impounded Iranian funds held in foreign banks and ceased application of nuclear-related sanctions, principally on Iran’s oil and financial sectors.

Airplane sales

The agreement permitted the sale of commercial aircraft to Iran to resume after many years of American restrictions that left the Iranian fleet dangerously outdated and depleted. Boeing and the European manufacturers Airbus and ATR signed sales agreements with Iran. Only Airbus and ATR have begun deliveries.

What didn’t Iran get?

Despite expectations that the nuclear accord would herald an investment boom in Iran and economic relief for its 80 million people after years of isolation, that has not happened.

Many American sanctions unrelated to the nuclear issue remain in force, including widespread restrictions on trade and a ban on Iran’s use of the United States financial system for transacting international business.

Many foreign companies have avoided Iran despite the deal, partly out of fear of inadvertently violating American rules and putting their operations in the United States at risk.

The notable exceptions have been from France, where the petroleum giant Total signed a $5 billion agreement with Iran in July to develop a natural gas field. The French automakers Peugeot Citroën and Groupe Renault have signed agreements to assemble vehicles in Iran. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/05/07/world/middleeast/iran-deal-before-after.html

 

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May 9, 2018 - Posted by | 2 WORLD, politics international

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