- The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), more commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal, was reached between Iran and six world powers known as the P5+1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) in July 2015.
What did Iran have to do to meet the requirements of the deal?
- According to this framework, Iran would redesign, convert, and reduce its nuclear facilities in order to lift all nuclear-related economic sanctions.
- The deal also allowed for the tracking of nuclear activities with robust transparency and inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
U.S. withdrawal from JCPOA
- Former US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal in 2018, claiming it did not address Iran’s ballistic missile programme or its roles in Middle Eastern conflicts.
- The US also re-imposed tough economic sanctions against Iran. Iran reacted by violating many of the deal’s restrictions on its nuclear programme.
Why in News?
- Iran’s atomic agency recently said that its stockpile of 20% enriched uranium has reached over 210 kilograms, the latest defiant move ahead of upcoming nuclear talks with the West.
- Under the historic 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and the World Powers, Iran was not meant to enrich uranium above 3.67%. Enriched uranium above 90% can be used for nuclear weapons.
- After months of delays, the European Union, Iran and the U.S. announced recently that indirect talks to resuscitate the deal would soon resume in Vienna.
- The U.S. unilaterally pulled out of the nuclear deal in 2018 under then-President Donald Trump, but Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia have tried to preserve the accord.
- The International Atomic Energy Agency is the world’s central intergovernmental forum for scientific and technical co-operation in the nuclear field.
- It works for the safe, secure and peaceful uses of nuclear science and technology, contributing to international peace and security and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
- The IAEA is an autonomous international organization within the United Nations system. It partners with more than a dozen UN organizations, thereby helping extend the reach of its services.
- IAEA reports annually to the UN General Assembly.
- Created in 1957, the IAEA Secretariat is headquartered in Vienna, Austria.
- Total Membership: 171 (including India).
- The main functions of the IAEA are to:
- encourage and assist research, development and practical application of atomic energy for peaceful uses throughout the world;
- establish and administer safeguards designed to ensure that such activity assisted by the Agency is not used to further any military purpose;
- apply safeguards to relevant activities at the request of Member States;
- apply, under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and other international treaties, mandatory comprehensive safeguards in non-nuclear weapon States (NNWS) Parties to such treaties.