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  • 07 October, 2022

  • 6 Min Read

CAATSA Sanction and (JCPOA)

CAATSA and Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (JCPOA)

  • The United States recently sanctioned Tibalaji Petrochem Pvt Ltd., a Mumbai-based petrochemical company, for selling Iranian petroleum products.
  • It is the first Indian entity to be designated by the US under unilateral sanctions imposed in 2018-19, following the US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

What exactly was the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action?

  • The agreement is also known as the 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal.
  • The JCPOA was the result of lengthy negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Germany) between 2013 and 2015.
  • Iran agreed to significantly reduce its stockpiles of centrifuges, enriched uranium, and heavy water, all of which are critical components of nuclear weapons.
  • Iran also agreed to implement a protocol that would allow IAEA inspectors access to its nuclear sites, ensuring that Iran would not be able to develop nuclear weapons in secret.
  • While the West agreed to lift sanctions related to Iran's nuclear proliferation, other sanctions related to alleged human rights violations and Iran's ballistic missile programme remained in place.
  • The United States committed to lifting sanctions on oil exports while continuing to restrict financial transactions, discouraging international trade with Iran.
  • Nonetheless, after years of recessions, currency depreciation, and inflation, Iran's economy stabilised significantly after the deal went into effect, and exports skyrocketed.
  • Following the US withdrawal from the deal in 2018 and the reinstatement of banking and oil sanctions, Iran resumed its nuclear programme in earnest, returning to approximately 97% of its pre-2015 nuclear capabilities.

What happened after the United States backed out of the agreement?

  • The United States announced its intention to lift sanctions in April 2020. The other partners, however, objected to the move, claiming that because the US was no longer a party to the agreement, it could not unilaterally reimpose sanctions.
  • Following the withdrawal, several countries continued to import Iranian oil under Trump administration waivers. After much international criticism, the US ended the waivers a year later, significantly reducing Iran's oil exports.
  • To keep the deal alive, the other powers launched a barter system known as Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX) to facilitate transactions with Iran outside of the US banking system. INSTEX, on the other hand, only covered food and medicine, which were already exempt from US sanctions.
  • After the US assassinated Iran's top general, Qasem Soleimani, in January 2020, Iran announced that it would no longer limit its uranium enrichment.
  • Iran and International Atomic Energy Agency officials met in September 2022 to discuss the possibility of Iran agreeing to allow inspectors back into the country to oversee reactors.
  • The United States and Iran have also exchanged positions on rejoining the JCPOA through the European Union.

What is the JCPOA's significance for India?

  • Increase Regional Connectivity: The removal of sanctions may rekindle India's interest in the Chabahar port, the Bandar Abbas port, and other regional connectivity plans.
  • This would aid India in neutralising the Chinese presence in Pakistan's Gwadar port.
  • Apart from Chabahar, India's interest in the International North-South Transit Corridor (INSTC), which will improve connectivity with five Central Asian republics, may be boosted.
  • Energy Security: As a result of the US Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), India is required to reduce its oil imports to zero.
  • The re-establishment of relations between the United States and Iran will enable India to obtain cheap Iranian oil and improve its energy security.

Read Also: Iran Nuclear Deal and JCPOA

Source: The hindu

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