Iran’s commitment to the 2015 nuclear deal will face another test starting November 5, when US sanctions targeting the country’s oil sector come back into effect. When Tehran concluded the agreement with six world powers—the United States, Russia, China, France, Great Britain, and Germany—it agreed to stringently limit nuclear activities in exchange for sanctions relief. The government of President Hassan Rouhani, and millions of ordinary Iranians, hoped this would bring major economic benefits by allowing foreign companies to do business with Iran. Despite the fact that Iran was complying with the terms of the deal—as documented by the International Atomic Energy Agency and the US State Department—the Trump administration decided on May 8 that it would reimpose the lifted sanctions, violating the agreement and dealing a harsh blow to Iran’s economy. That left Iran with a decision to make: Continue to comply with the agreement—known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA—which still had the support of the five other parties and the European Union? Or resume and expand nuclear activities the deal had restricted?
Bulletin of Atomic Scientists 5th Nov 2018 read more »