İlknur Şebnem Öztemel – TDO – Iran carried out a test launch of a medium-range ballistic missile that exploded after 630 miles (1,010 km) on Sunday.
It is not clear yet whether the launch violated United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution ordered Iran not to carry out activities related to ballistic missiles, capable of delivering nuclear weapons.
French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jean-Marc Ayrault, said that while Iran had largely honored thanks to the deal, it had several ballistic missile tests.
Iranian Nuclear Deal has a long story to tell. It has started in August 2002, as the National Council of Resistance of Iran, released the location of a heavy-water production facility in Arak and a nuclear fuel construction site in Natanz. In October 2003, Iran and EU-3 (UK, France, Germany) reached an agreement, called the Tehran Declaration and orders Iran to cooperate fully with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and suspend all uranium enrichment activities.
In 2005, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a supporter of Iranian nuclear program, was elected as the new president and in the following year, he announced that Iran had joined the group of states which have nuclear technology. In July 2006, UNSC took a resolution that demands Iran to stop its uranium enrichment activities, similar to the Tehran Declaration. From 2006 to 2010, UNSC had six resolutions about the issue (1696, 1737, 1747, 1803, 1835,1929) and imposed gradual sanctions to Iran, including freezing assets of individuals and companies related to the program. In September 2009, American officials explored the existence of an underground enrichment facility in Fordow and US begins talking seriously about air strikes against Iran. Also Israel threatened Iran to take nuclear action.
In 2013, Hassan Rouhani, considered to be a more moderate, pragmatic and enthusiastic to negotiate than his predecessor, elected as the new president. US President Barack Obama had a historical phone call with him in September 2013. It was the first contact since 1979. In pursuit of the phone call, in November 2013, Iran and the P5+1 reached an interim agreement, known as the joint plan of action that limits Iran’s nuclear program and orders gradual removal of sanctions in return. Finally, on 15 July 2015, foreign ministers of Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States met to complete the agreement which has been under negotiation for more than 20 months.
After the sign of the deal, Iran had three ballistic missile tests; first one happened in October 2015, the second one in March 2016 and the third one in January 2017. UNSC had the resolution 2231 that calls Iran not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons. It has still been debated whether Iranian government violated the resolution by launching missile tests.
On the other hand, U.S. Senate voted in favor of renewing sanctions against Iran for 10 more years, in December 2016. In response to this, Rouhani wrote a letter that condemned ‘’breach’’ of nuclear deal and ordered nation’s scientists to plan, design and product fuel and nuclear power plants for maritime transport. Also, Rouhani ordered Foreign Minister to mount a legal challenge against USA.
Keeping promises and obedience in an international level has always been problematic for sovereign states. Iranian Nuclear Deal is an example of this for both sides. Iran accuse west as they do not lift sanctions quickly and west blame Iran for continuing its projects on armament.
Iranian Nuclear Deal has challenged many times in the past but it seems Donald Trump will stretch the line further. During his campaign Trump has criticized the agreement several times. Recently, he suspended the entry of immigrants from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen to USA. In terms of reciprocity, Iranian government prohibited the entrance of American citizens to the country too. If we take Trump’s general opinion on Israel and Jews to the account, it is hard to be hopeful about the future of the deal.