Iran, big powers clinch landmark nuclear deal

Discussion in 'International Politics' started by Zebra, Jul 14, 2015.

  1. Zebra

    Zebra Senior Member Senior Member

    Mar 18, 2011
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    Iran, big powers clinch landmark nuclear deal

    World | Tue Jul 14, 2015
    VIENNA | By Parisa Hafezi, Louis Charbonneau, John Irish and Arshad Mohammed

    Iran and six major world powers reached a nuclear deal on Tuesday, capping more than a decade of on-off negotiations with an agreement that could potentially transform the Middle East.

    Under the deal, sanctions imposed by the United States, European Union and United Nations would be lifted in return for Iran agreeing long-term curbs on a nuclear program that the West has suspected was aimed at creating a nuclear bomb.

    Reaching a deal is a major policy victory for both U.S. President Barack Obama and Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, a pragmatist elected two years ago on a vow to reduce Iran's diplomatic isolation.

    Both men face scepticism from powerful hardliners at home after decades of enmity between countries that referred to each other as "the Great Satan" and a member of the "axis of evil".

    Final talks in Vienna involved nearly three weeks of intense round-the-clock negotiations between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

    Western diplomats said under the final agreement, Iran had accepted a "snapback" mechanism, under which some sanctions could be reinstated in 65 days if it violated the deal. A U.N. weapons embargo would remain in place for five years and a ban on buying missile technology would remain for eight years.......
  3. Zebra

    Zebra Senior Member Senior Member

    Mar 18, 2011
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  4. sorcerer

    sorcerer Senior Member Senior Member

    Apr 13, 2013
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    How Technology Will Help Enforce the Iran Deal…And Cheat On It
    The UN’s nuclear monitors have great new sensors, but eavesdropping gear and radioactive residue will make their job harder than ever.

    The time of wailing and rejoicing has passed, for now. The Iran deal has been announced and, if the votes come through, IAEA monitors will set up shop in Iran to ensure Tehran has relinquished its efforts to build a nuclear bomb. The fact that the Obama administration, its partners, and others have such confidence in the inspections process is why there’s a deal at all. The technology for enforcement has advanced considerably over the last decade, but cheats are just a few hacks away.

    Inspections Technology: One Step Forward
    “Better technology really has helped the inspection process,” said David Kay, a former United Nations chief weapons inspector who ran the Iraq Survey Group, the inspections body that unveiled serious flaws in the intelligence that led to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. “In the old days, inspectors had to put paper seals” onto containers or facilities that were off limits or undergoing investigation, Kay said “You had to go physically look [at them] to see if they had been broken. New seals can digitally transmit in real time back to Vienna. In the old days, digital cameras recorded either to a disk, or, the more modern ones, to [memory] cards. But you had to go pull out the cards and physically send them.” Now, he says, live camera feeds at a wide variety of inspection sites can “lessen the inspection burden tremendously and raise your confidence” as an inspector.

    Portable sensing devices have advanced well beyond that old Geiger counter your high school physics teacher gave you on lab day. Mass spectronomy equipment, which measures the mass-to-charge ratio of gaseous ions, can track not only radiation levels but the types of particles in the air or on surfaces. They’ve gotten much smaller and more capable in the last decade. “Say you do an environmental swipe, a sampling of a wall, and you want to know what you’ve detected,” said Kay. “A mass spec will very quickly tell you whether it’s iron, cadmium, lead, or uranium or plutonium, and what is the isotopic composition. Is it an uranium isotope that you have to worry about? Is it one that will fission? Or is it one that’s a by-product of enrichment separation?”

    Beyond mass spectrometers, IAEA inspectors have a variety of portable devices such as multi-channel analyzers, which, unlike low-tech radiation detectors, “can be used to search for and locate an unknown source of radiation, determine the relative dose rate, and isotopically identify the source,” according to this IAEA document. Inspectors also have alloy detectors to discover if objects have come into contact with various materials.

    Cheating Technology: Two Steps Back
    Despite the new gear, monitoring Iran’s nuclear activity will be incredibly challenging, Kay said. For one thing, the agreement allows Iran scientists to continue some nuclear research — just not bomb-building. The Iranians will be allowed to keep several centrifuges and uranium hexafluoride. The Arak heavy-water reactor will be modified to reduce plutonium enrichment but will still have fuel cores.

    All this radioactive residue will make it far more difficult to figure out what’s new and what’s old. “They enriched uranium to a high level. Well, environmental sampling from now for eons will detect that,” Kay said. “The Iranians have an easy out, having acknowledged that they did it in the past. They can say, ‘That’s from the old program’…It’s one thing inspecting in a place like Iraq after the first Gulf War where everything was prohibited. The background was supposed to be null.”

    Even the promise of real-time camera feed monitoring will likely become a matter of dispute and argument. “Modern equipment has outages. The Internet goes down,” Kay said. “Every time an anomaly occurs, it will require another inspection effort to verify it was a genuine anomaly and not an intentional one.” Inspectors, in short, will be asked to look for signs of nuclear activity in a place where the signatures of such activity abound.

    Moreover, they’ll be working under the gaze of Iranian internal security. The regime’s cyber espionage forces, which include the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security and the Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps Cyber Defense Command, have shut down popular uprising attempts for years through domestic counterintelligence efforts that rival China’s. A few inspectors calling home on BlackBerry phones won’t pose an intelligence-gathering challenge.

    Kay said any inspector working in Iran should assume constant phone and email hacking attempts. “You can’t believe how hard it is on inspectors when you know every conversation is going to be overheard, that there’s probably video monitoring in your hotel room,” he said. “The sense of privacy disappears. For the IAEA, maintaining the integrity of the inspection process is going to be a constant concern.” It will be a concern that will last for years.

    Finally, the challenge of building a nuclear weapon has evolved from the days of Los Alamos. A lot of equipment that engineers might use to build conventional arms can also be used in nuclear weapons research. This presents a variety of cheating opportunities, says Kay.

    “If I had to place a bet on the first violation, it would be in the procurement of potentially nuclear-related —in other words, dual-use equipment. The Iranians have the best clandestine procurement at work that I’ve ever seen … With dual-use equipment, you’re often able to gin up a permitted use,” he said. “It’s going to be very hard for inspectors to determine whether they are inside or outside the agreement.”

    For instance, some machine tools used to produce centrifuges are “perfectly usable” in various conventional-weapons programs: “making your missiles fly better, straighter, producing with numerically controlled machine tools, all sorts of stuff like that,” he said.

    Computer equipment and software is also dual-use. Simulation and modeling, for instance, allows nuclear research in a virtual environment away from the sniffers and sensors. “You’re talking about computers, software programs, codes that allow you to calculate how neutrons interact with other materials,” he said. “Some of it might be related to a nuclear weapons device, some might be related to a nuclear physics program,” he says. That presents an incredible challenge to inspectors, Kay said. “You can’t sit full-time and watch ones and zeros run across a screen and try to figure out what a code is doing. So much of modern physics is simulation.”

    Does all this make it certain that Iran will cheat? Is the deal rotten to the core? Not at all, says Kay. He calls the deal “workable.” It can succeed, he says, but only on one condition: that political powers in the United States support the inspectors when they try to ring alarm bells. “From an inspector’s point of view, the worst thing that can happen is that you find stuff that is suspicious and your political masters simply aren’t prepared to take the difficult steps to resolve it.”
  5. Alien

    Alien Regular Member

    May 20, 2015
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    Lifting of Iran sanctions: Boon or bane for Indian companies?

    NEW DELHI: Iran and six world powers on Tuesday thrashed out a historic agreement that curbs Tehran's nuclear programme in exchange for lifting over a decade-long economic sanctions.

    The comprehensive agreement was clinched between Iran and P5+1 - Britain, China, France, Russia and the US plus Germany — after torturous talks in the Austrian capital.

    The deal would specify that the related UN resolutions on economic and financial sanctions against Iran will be terminated all at once under a UN resolution and in an agreed framework, Iranian media reported.

    Here is how the Iran nuclear deal is likely to impact Indian companies:

    Opportunities for Indian pharmaceutical, IT, commodity firms

    Trade ministry officials say that the economic boost to Iran from the lifting of sanctions could offer opportunities for Indian pharmaceutical, IT and commodity firms.

    In May, for example, the two countries signed a deal to develop the Iranian port of Chabahar, on the Gulf of Oman, that would open up a new trade route to Central Asia.

    "We may lose some engineering exports, but new opportunities could come up for products currently covered under sanctions," said an official. Some officials favour extending soft loans to exporters and lobbying for infrastructure deals.

    India can freely buy crude oil from Iran

    The easing of sanctions would mean India can freely buy crude oil from Iran.

    Sanctions had meant that New Delhi could import no more than 9 million tonnes of oil this fiscal, the same volume it had shipped from Iran in 2013-15.

    Oil prices fall as Iran, global powers reach nuclear deal

    India to seek rights for developing Iranian gas field

    Buoyed by Iran's historic nuclear accord with world powers to end sanctions, India will ask Tehran for rights to develop ONGC-discovered Farzad-B gas field in the Persian Gulf even as it prepares to pay USD 6.5 billion in past oil dues.

    Indian firms have so far shied away from investing in Iran for the fear of being sanctioned by the US and Europe. The same was deterring New Delhi from claiming rights to invest nearly USD 7 billion in the biggest gas discovery ever made by an Indian firm abroad.

    But with Iran and six world powers sealing an accord to curb the Islamic Republic's nuclear programme in return for ending sanctions, India is making a renewed pitching for rights to develop 12.8 Trillion cubic feet of gas reserves ONGC Videsh Ltd had found in 2008.

    "We have been in negotiations with Iran over development of Farzad-B gas field. Now that sanctions will ease, we expect Iran to give us the developmental rights," OVL managing director Narendra K Verma said.

    Exporters to face renewed competition for Iran market

    Indian businessman Pankaj Bansal is losing sleep. He says lifting of sanctions against Iran could wipe him out.

    "I have been forced to take sleeping pills now to avoid nightmares as my business with Iran has drastically come down," said Bansal, 43, from his base in a teeming commercial district of south Delhi.

    Bansal's trading firm, TMA International, has expanded from metals into motors, auto parts and chemicals as rivals were shut out of Iran by Western sanctions aimed at forcing Tehran into a nuclear compromise.

    He is one of thousands of exporters who enjoyed a three-year run because India did not back the sanctions. In that time, India's exports to Iran doubled to $5 billion, helping to halve its bilateral trade deficit.

    Farmers to lose price premium

    A delegation of Indian exporters met finance minister Arun Jaitley last week to lobby for support to help them cope with a revival of competition for the Iranian market. They came away empty handed.

    "The lifting of Western sanctions on Iran would have an adverse impact, particularly on non-agricultural commodities," said SC Ralhan, president of the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO).

    Yet millions of farmers too would face a hit from the easing of sanctions on Iran, a buyer of basmati rice, soymeal, sugar, barley and meat. Under sanctions, Iran paid a premium of up to 20 percent over global prices to buy from India.

    "Iran is shifting to other suppliers like South American countries. They are supplying at much lower prices compared to India. We cannot compete," said BV Mehta, executive director at the Solvent Extractors' Association of India.

    Europe may gain at India's cost

    Indian exporters say firms from Germany, Italy and France that once dominated in Iran will be back selling consumer products ranging from clothing to cars, and pitching for big-ticket contracts like the delayed Tehran metro.

    "Traditionally, Iranians have a liking for European products. With the weakening of the euro, it will not be easy for us to compete," said Rafeeq Ahmed, a Chennai-based exporter who used to head the Indian export federation.
  6. GokuInd

    GokuInd Regular Member

    Mar 31, 2009
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    About time they clinched the deal. Not many will like the outcome but as someone once said:

    "I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody."
  7. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

    Jan 17, 2010
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    Dividends of Peace

    Crude Oil

  8. Rowdy

    Rowdy Co ja kurwa czytam! Senior Member

    Sep 6, 2014
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    Milky Bar


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