IAS Main Exam International Relations: Iran-US Relations and Its Impacts

The U.S. president Donald Trump decided to decertify the nuclear deal with Iran.  Here, we have analyzed the US- Iran relation after decertification and its impact on all around the globe including India. The topic is very important for IAS Mains Exam.

Created On: Oct 23, 2017 15:33 IST
IAS Main Exam International Relations Iran-US Relations and Its Impacts
IAS Main Exam International Relations Iran-US Relations and Its Impacts

Donald Trump refused to certify the Iran nuclear deal, which will curb its nuclear program in return for lifting global sanctions. By refusing the deal, U.S. President Donald Trump has put the two-year-old pact on dangerous footing.  This is another setback in the history of US- Iran Relations.

U.S.-Iran Relations is an unresolved conundrum. Officially, Iran and the United States have not had diplomatic relations for 38 years. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which is commonly known as US.- Iran nuclear deal, was signed in 2015 by Iran and the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and Germany . It was also the first official agreement between Iran and the United States since 1979.

India and EU Relations

What is 2015 Nuclear Deal?

  • In Oman, the secret talk happened between the administration of President Obama and Iran which led to Iran sitting down to negotiate over its nuclear program with world powers. It is officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
  • In 2015, Iran agreed to an accord that stated to limit its enrichment of uranium in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.
  • The logic behind western powers struck the deal is that it wanted to curb Iran’s ability to quickly develop nuclear weapons.
    But, Iran has kept insisting that it has never sought nuclear arms. The deal saw Iran make billions of dollars in deals for airplanes and start widely selling its oil, though the average Iranians say they still haven't seen the benefits of the agreement.

What happened now?

  • The American law states that the administration has to certify that Iran is technically in compliance with the deal that was struck between Iran and six other world powers, including the U.S., every 90 days.
  • All other signatories and the UN acknowledge that Iran is fully complying. But Mr. Trump, who had during his election campaign threatened to tear up the deal and as President continued to call it the “worst agreement in American diplomatic history”, disavowed it days before the next certification was due.
  • From the start, Trump’s administration has taken a hawkish line towards Iran. It has already imposed new sanctions on its missile program and joined hands with its regional rivals in West Asia.
  • Now Trump has withdrawn certification but he did not scrap the deal. Instead, he passed the final decision to U.S. lawmakers.
  • The Republican-controlled Congress now has 60 days to decide whether sanctions should be re-imposed.

India US Relations

Impacts on Iran

  • After withdrawing from the certification, Mr. Trump has put the final nail in the coffin of an Iran-U.S. reset that had appeared possible during the Obama days.
  • Now the threat of sanctions will hang over the nuclear deal. This step taken by Mr. Trump is a boon for hardliners in Iran, who have suffered a political setback in recent years.
  • In 2015, the deal came into existence only because the reformists and moderates rallied behind President Hassan Rouhani’s agenda, despite strong opposition from the Iranian deep state.
  • Even Mr. Rouhani, who promised a solution to the nuclear crisis, got the deal done and won re-election this year. Now he will find it difficult to mobilize public opinion behind the agreement in the light of continued U.S. hostility.
  • The larger question is, what kind of example is the U.S. setting for the global non-proliferation regime?
  • The Iran deal, despite its shortcomings, was a shining example of the capacity of world powers to come together and sort out a complex issue diplomatically. It assumed greater significance given the recent wars and chaos in West Asia. It should have set a model in addressing other nuclear crises. Instead, by going after Iran even though it complies with the agreement, the U.S. is damaging its own reputation.

Impacts on EU

  • Just after Mr. Trump’s declaration, the European Union urged US politicians to preserve the Iran nuclear deal. It has warned that Donald Trump’s threat to end it could jeopardize international security and damage diplomatic efforts to defuse tension in North Korea.
  • The EU has also implicated that such a threat will make it more difficult to open any form of dialogue or mediation with North Korea also in the case of a serious threat.
  • The EU’s 28 foreign ministers unanimously called for full and effective implementation of the Iran deal, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
  • They said in a statement: “At a time of acute nuclear threat the EU is determined to preserve the JCPOA as a key pillar of the international non-proliferation architecture”.

IAS Main Exam IR Topic : India and China Relations

Impact on India

  • India’s diplomatic position in the past reflects that it has insisted that it would adhere to UN sanctions imposed on any country. Earlier, New Delhi was forced to trim the amount of oil it sourced from Iran thanks to US sanctions targeting financial institutions dealing with Iran.
  • The 2015 deal between US and Iran opened many doors for India too. But, the US president again, threatening to end that deal may bring back same similar restrictions on India- Iran relations.
  • In recent years, India-US Relations has evolved quite rapidly. So, it can be thought that the US could bring bilateral pressure to bear on India to be seen as aligning with its position.


As we have discussed above about the recent happenings in the US- Iran relations. It is reasonable to say that the US President Donald Trump’s decision to decertify the Iran nuclear deal offers a fresh challenge to global peace and security.

In his new Iran policy Trump repeated his election campaign rhetoric that Iran had not lived up to the deal despite evidence to the contrary.

Trump wants US Congress to impose more restrictions on Iran. And if it fails to do it, in this case, he has threatened to scrap the deal altogether.

On other hands, unlike past, Iran today has a moderate president in Hassan Rouhani who is trying to implement reforms and open up the Islamic republic to foreign investors.

These reforms which are being made by Hassan Rouhani should be welcomed by the international community.

So ending the nuclear deal will only strengthen the hardliners in Tehran. Apart from it, if the US wants to stabilize Afghanistan, it is essential to have a working relationship with Iran.
Overall, it can be concluded that scrapping the Iran nuclear deal will have disastrous consequences all round.

International Relations (IR) for UPSC IAS Main Exam

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