Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Will this deal be good?

The United Nations Security Council has unanimously endorsed the nuclear deal struck between Iran, the United States and five other world powers on 14 July, the AP and Reuters are reporting.

Under the terms of the deal, the toughest sanctions put in the place against Iran by the world body would be dismantled in exchange for restrictions on some of the country's nuclear activities.

This means the deal has cleared its first hurdle and the sanctions will be lifted after Iran complies with some of terms.

The Security Council, however, will be able to re-impose U.N. penalties during the next decade if Tehran breaches the historic agreement.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power was quoted by Reuters as saying the deal would make the world "safer and more secure."

She added that it "doesn't change our profound concern about human rights violations committed by the Iranian government or about instability Iran fuels ... from its support for terrorist proxies to its repeated threats against Israel, its other destabilising activities in the region."

Passage of the U.N. resolution triggers a complex set of coordinated steps agreed by Iran during nearly two years of talks with the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France, Germany and the European Union.

It says that no sanctions relief will be implemented until the International Atomic Energy Agency submits a report to the Security Council verifying that Iran has taken certain nuclear-related measures outlined in the agreement, according to Reuters.

Under the deal, the major powers don't need to take any further action for 90 days. Then they are required to begin preparations so they are able to lift sanctions as soon as the IAEA verification report is submitted.

The European Union approved the Iran nuclear deal with world powers on Monday. U.S. President Barack Obama's administration has sent the nuclear agreement to Congress, which has the next 60 days to review it.

Once sanctions relief can be implemented, seven previous U.N. resolutions will be terminated and the measures contained in the resolution adopted on Monday will come into effect.

The resolution allows for supply of ballistic missile technology and heavy weapons, such as tanks and attack helicopters, to Iran with Security Council approval, but the United States has pledged to veto any such requests.

The restrictions on ballistic missile technology are in place for eight years and on heavy weapons for five years. The resolution leaves in place an arms embargo on conventional weapons for five years.
The resolution places restrictions on the transfer to Iran of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes for a decade.

It allows all U.N. sanctions to be re-imposed if Iran breaches the deal in the next 10 years. If the Security Council receives a complaint of a breach it would then need to vote within 30 days on a resolution to extend sanctions relief.

If the council fails to vote on a resolution, the sanctions would be automatically re-imposed. This procedure prevents any of the veto powers who negotiated the accord, such as Russia and China, from blocking any snap-back of Iran sanctions. All the provisions and measures of the U.N. resolution would terminate in a decade if the nuclear deal is adhered to.

However, the six world powers and the EU wrote to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon last week to inform him that after 10 years they plan to seek a five-year extension of the mechanism allowing sanctions to be re-imposed. 

Image by: Al Jazeera

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