Persia an Empire that once spread from Banks of Nile to Deserts of Babylon & all way bordering Indus Valley. Persia an empire that once spread from Banks of Nile to Deserts of Babylon to Banks of Indus Valley is now on the rise again. Persia Connects not only with King Cyrus The Great but also its rich culture & heritage that the Modern Islamic Republic of Iran has inherit. Iran seeks to recreate that Persian Empire in a The Persian Affaire where it has willing states to court it back to its prime status it held. This is about the Rise of Iran from the Shadows of the Persian Empire in the modern era. The Nuclear Deal talks have been going between Iran & P5+1 since years & a negotiated settlement is being sought to curtail Iran’s way to nuclear bomb. Iran Nuclear Program has been in works since long & to understand the technical issues involving in Iran Nuclear Negotiations with the World powers first things to understand is the Sanction Regime by US, EU & UN that have been imposed on Iran since the 1979 Revolution & more so after discovery of its clandestine nuclear programme.
UN Security Council resolutions have been imposed on Iran in December 2006 after it restarted its Uranium Enrichment in late 2005. In March 2007 UN Security Council voted to toughen sanctions by banning all of Iran’s arms exports and extending the freeze on assets of those associated with the enrichment programme.
In March 2008 UN Security Council passed further sanctions, including the monitoring of Iranian banks and all Iranian cargo planes and ships suspected of carrying previously sanctioned items. It also extends asset freezes. In June 2010 – UN Security Council imposed fourth round of sanctions against Iran over its nuclear programme, including tighter financial curbs and an expanded arms embargo. These measures prohibit Iran from buying heavy weapons such as attack helicopters and missiles.
One needs to decipher the Historical acrimonious relationship between Iran & world powers mainly the United States & EU after 1979 Revolution, which deposed the pro western regime of Shah of Iran & Hardliners like Ayatollah Khomeini took over the Islamic Republic of Iran which was followed by months of stand off of with US Diplomats & Embassy Staff. The relations between West & Iran froze to an extent that Iran was called the part of Axis Of Evil along with North Korea while Iran accused USA of being the Great Satan more evident during George Bush Jr Presidency coinciding with President Ahmadinejad of Iran. Iran has acrimonious relationship not only with US whose CIA Officers were killed in Beruit attack by Hezbollah fighters in Lebanon a Terror Group backed by Iran but hostile relations with Israel who has fought couple of wars with Hezbollah in Lebanon.
Iran actions on Clandestine Nuclear activity resulted in sanctions not only from UNSC but also US & EU who imposed various sanctions on Iran forcing it to comply with the International Norms. In June 2012 – US banned the world’s banks from completing oil transactions with Iran, and exempts seven major customers – India, South Korea, Malaysia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and Turkey – from economic sanctions in return for their cutting imports of Iranian oil. In July 2012 – EU ban of Iranian oil exports takes effect. As a result in October 2012 – Iran’s rial currency fell to a new record low against the US dollar, having lost about losing 80 per cent of its value since 2011, which many economists peg as the result of international sanctions.
During President Obama’s first tenure intense back channel talks & lobbying started with Iranian regime specially after President Rouhani came to power with Foreign Minister Zarif who warmed up to the efforts for a negotiated settlement of Nuclear enrichment issue. The negotiations in Lausanne lead to an Interim Deal in April 2015 where major World Power i.e. P5+1 agreed to chalk out the basic framework of a Nuclear Deal with Iran on the basis of which a final agreement is to be concluded by June 30, 2015.
The Contours of the Interim Agreement as Concluded in Lausanne in April 2015 as per facts sheet issued by United States are; The centrifuges are to be cut down by 90%, the supply chain of Nuclear Fuel will be tracked by IAEA through Regular Inspections. Restrictions for 15 years on FORDOW Facility or even 25 years on some other sites. Spent Fuel or Plutonium needed for bomb is to be shipped out. Iran will sign additional protocol of IAEA; no further building of heavy reactors like Arak and cap of 15 years on selling of heavy water. While the original core of the Arak Reactor enabling weapon grade plutonium for bomb will be destroyed or removed from the country.
Iran will ship the spent fuel from the reactors out of the country for Reactor’s lifetime & commit to no reprocessing or research on spent Fuel. All centrifuges & enrichment infrastructure from FORDOW & Natanz will be placed under Continuous monitoring by IAEA including Uranium Mills in Iran. Iran agrees to reduce its installed centrifuges by 2/3rd from 19000 to 6,104 installed under deal with only 5060 for enriching in 10 years. Enrichment will not exceed 3.67% for at least 15 years & the current stockpile of about 10 K Kg of low enriched uranium will be reduced to 300 Kg of 3.67% LEU.
After reading the above terms in the Interim Deal struck in Lausanne in April 2015 the picture that emerges is that all the centrifuges, supply lines of uranium & facilities will be under dedicated monitoring program by IAEA. The cut down in centrifuges & enrichment significantly lowers the chances of a nuclear Bomb Breakout specially given IAEA strict inspection regime. Taking excess centrifuges reprocessed nuclear material abroad means that nuclear breakout chances are substantially decreased. Most importantly if Iran substantially violates any part of the deal the sanctions will Snap Back which Russia & Some powers are objecting too.
Though the Interim Iran nuclear deal framework agreed in Lausanne in April 2015 substantially lays out the framework there are still contentious issues that are to be sorted out & details that are to worked out specially given the vehement opposition by Israel & the Republican Dominated US Congress who has the power of Oversight on any Nuclear Deal struck with Iran. The negotiations are still on in Vienna to reach a Final agreement. Will history be made in Vienna 2015 is something the world is watching for.