Exactly three years after Tehran signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – also known as the Iran nuclear deal – with China, France, Germany, Russia, UK, the US and the European Union, the survival of the hard-fought pact is in question following Washington’s withdrawal in May.
Under the deal agreement signed in Austria’s capital, Vienna on June 14, 2015, Iran cut down its uranium stockpile and scaled back its enrichment programme far below the level required to build a nuclear weapon. It also agreed in perpetuity to notify United Nations inspectors if and when it builds a new nuclear facility.
In exchange, UN-approved sanctions were lifted in January 2016, and Tehran was allowed to resume trading oil and gas on the international market. A total of $100bn in frozen Iranian assets was also released.
What’s next for Iran oil?
As an original signatory to the deal, the US – under then-President Barack Obama – also pledged to waive secondary American sanctions as long as Iran continued to abide by the agreement.
According to the UN nuclear monitoring agency’s latest report dated May 24, 2018, Iran continues to abide by the rules set in the multilateral agreement.
Since then, Washington has imposed a series of additional sanctions on Iranian entities and individuals, as well as foreign companies in Iran, squeezing the country economically and angering its leaders.
Earlier this month, the US said that it would exert “maximum economic and diplomatic pressure” on oth