1. Iran on January 31, 2017, test-fired a medium-range ballistic missile, the first launch of its kind since President Donald Trump took office.
  2. Iran used to be prohibited from test-firing ballistic missiles under previous U.N. resolutions. However, these were removed by a new resolution passed alongside the nuclear deal between Iran and western powers in 2015.
  3. The deal relaxed sanctions on Iran and now there is ample evidence that since the signing of the deal to curb Iran’s nuclear programme, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action(JCPOA), Iran has taken advantage of the easing of sanctions.
  4. The Iran deal, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), is a broad multilateral agreement involving the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and Germany (the so-called P5+1), along with the European Union.
  5. After the deal went through, Iran got assets of about $100bn unfrozen and is back with new boldness which is not acceptable by USA, Israel or Saudi Arabia.
  6. Trump administration swung into action against the test and issued a notice to the Islamic country for the same.trump
  7. Trump’s administration is also considering a proposal to designate Iran’s powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization.
  8. The IRGC is by far Iran’s most powerful security entity, which also has huge control over Iran’s economy and influence in its political system.
  9. Further, Trump has announced a temporary travel ban on nationals from Iran and six other Muslim-majority countries, barring them from entering the United States.
  10. As per US National Security Adviser, the missile test was in defiance of UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which calls on Iran not to test missiles capable of delivering a nuclear weapon.
  11. But Iran called the claims “baseless, repetitive and provocative”. Iran has confirmed that it had tested a ballistic missile, but denied that it violated the terms of the nuclear deal.
  12. Tehran said its missiles did not breach UN resolutions because they were for defence purposes only and were not designed to carry nuclear warheads. How US would handle the situation?
  13. Obama and Trump have different stands on Iran.
  14. If Mr. Obama’s Iran policy was defined by pragmatism, Mr. Trump appears determined to pursue the agenda of restoring the bipolar balance between Saudi Arabia and Israel. Israel is US’s one of the strongest ally in the West Asia region.
  15. The deal JCPOA was signed during Obama tenure and was opposed by Saudi and Israel and therefore during Obama’s tenure, USA relations with Israel and Saudi were seen to be on decline as compared to previous governments. Trump seems to be restoring it. Trump too had opposed the deal.
  16. But Mr. Trump may not repeal the nuclear deal as it is a multilateral agreement. But by putting immigration curbs on Iranian citizens, imposing new sanctions on Iran and branding the country the greatest state sponsor of terrorism, the Trump administration has clearly announced that the policy of containment of Iran is back.
  17. Trump would also not kill the 2015 deal as Russia is Iran’s ally and killing the JCPOA would likely jeopardise Trump’s plans to improve relations with Vladimir Putin.
  18. Even the US’s other Gulf allies, who are deeply suspicious of Iran, backed the deal in 2015 and may resist any attempts by Trump to change course.
  19. Most importantly, the killing of deal, JCPOA could prove dangerous because Iran, unlike the Iraq of 2003, is a strong regional power whose influence runs from Iraq and Syria to Lebanon and Yemen.
  20. Any meaningful effort to stabilise West Asia needs Iran’s cooperation, not hostility.
  21. Second, the primary reason for destabilisation in West Asia is the ongoing cold war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
  22. Targeting Iran by siding with the Saudis would only prompt Tehran to step up its activities in other countries through the “Shia corridor”.saudi
  23. Finally, the world, including the U.S., needs Iran’s cooperation to fight the Islamic State(ISIS), particularly in Iraq, where Iranian-controlled Shia militias played a key role in liberating cities.
  24. If Mr. Trump ignores these realities, he runs the risk of making West Asia even more chaotic than it is.
  25. India in between all this is a chilled out player. It is watching the turn of events and the decisions would be taken after evaluating the weightier side. Iran is crucial for energy security and its reach to central asia, but the importance of Israel, Saudi and America is heavy enough and can not be neglected.
  26. So it is better to be Non aligned to any of the countries rather be aligned to core Indian interests and till then wait for Bahubali Part 2!