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United Nations: On October 12, U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to announce whether his administration still finds Iran in compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal. Here’s a look at what could happen if he chooses not to certify Iran Nuclear Deal.
What is the Iran nuclear deal?
In July 2015, the permanent five members of the U.N. Security Council (Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States, plus Germany) agreed with Iran on a landmark deal to prevent Tehran from building a nuclear bomb. In exchange, certain international sanctions that have been in place against Iran for years would be lifted.
The sanctions relief led to Iran receiving billions of dollars in unfrozen funds and opened its markets back up to many foreign investors.
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action as it’s known by its formal name or JCPOA — took years to negotiate and was endorsed by a United Nations Security Council resolution, solidifying it as international law. It went into effect in January 2016.
What if not Certified?
Under the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 (INARA), the U.S. president must certify to Congress every 90 days that Tehran is abiding by the provisions of the Iran Nuclear Deal.
Four criteria must be met:
- Iran is transparently and verifiably fully implementing all parts of the deal
- Iran has not committed a material breach of the agreement
- Iran has not taken any action, including covert activities, that could significantly advance its nuclear weapons program
- Suspension of Iran-related sanctions are appropriate and proportionate to measures taken by Iran to terminate its nuclear program and are vital to U.S. national security interests
If the president does not certify Iran’s compliance this month, it would trigger a 60-day period in which Congress can introduce legislation to re-impose some or all of the old U.S.-imposed sanctions (but not the U.N. ones).
If that happens, it could cause problems with countries that have resumed trade and banking relationships with Iran, by forcing Washington to impose secondary sanctions on them for cooperating with Tehran.
Tehran could also try to accuse the United States of having been the first to violate the Iran Nuclear Deal and lead to its collapse.
Will he or won’t he?
So far, President Trump has certified the deal twice since taking office. The next deadline is October 15. Trump has repeatedly indicated that he is not inclined to find Iran in compliance, most recently on Thursday.
In September, on the sidelines of the annual U.N. General Assembly, the parties to the agreement met, and the European Union’s Mogherini said they all agreed Iran is in compliance.
“The agreement is concerning the nuclear program, as such it is delivering, we all agreed that all parties are fulfilling their commitments, the agreement is being implemented,” she told reporters.
Does decertifying mean a US withdrawal from the deal?
Some view that as a political strategy on the part of the president to show his supporters that he followed through on his promise to be tough on the Obama-era agreement, but without violating it.
But that has risks. Decertifying and sending the deal to Congress puts its future in jeopardy.
“This agreement is not something someone can touch,” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned last month in New York. “This is a building, that from the frame of which if you take off a single brick, the entire building will collapse.”
If the Iran Nuclear Deal falls apart, Iran could decide to resume producing and enriching uranium.
U.S. allies are also nervous decertification or withdrawal could derail diplomatic efforts to get the North Koreans to come to the negotiating table to give up their nuclear program.
The United States is the only party to the deal that has expressed an interest in renegotiating the agreement. France’s president has suggested opening separate discussions on non-nuclear related issues, such as Iran’s support for militias in Syria and Yemen, its ballistic missile activity, and the period after the nuclear agreement ends in 2025.
If President Trump decides to toss the Iran ball to Congress, he could inject a high degree of uncertainty into the process. While it remains unclear what Congress’ intention is now, any action that could be perceived as a U.S. violation of the deal could have the unpleasant consequence of isolating Washington internationally.(voa)
Diwali is arguably one of the most auspicious and celebrated holidays in South Asia. It is celebrated over the span of five days, where the third is considered most important and known as Diwali. During Diwali people come together to light, lamps, and diyas, savour sweet delicacies and pray to the lord. The day has various origin stories with the main them being the victory of good over evil. While the North celebrates the return of Lord Rama and Devi Sita to Ayodhya, the South rejoices in the victory of Lord Krishna and his consort Satyabhama over evil Narakasura.
Narakasura- The great mythical demon King
Naraka or Narakasur was the son of Bhudevi (Goddess Earth) and fathered either by the Varaha incarnation of Vishnu or Hiranyaksha. He grew to be a powerful demon king and became the legendary progenitor of all three dynasties of Pragjyotisha-Kamarupa, and the founding ruler of the legendary Bhauma dynasty of Pragjyotisha.
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Narakasura was created, grew up to be strong and powerful but he was not satisfied with it, so he decided that he would worship Lord Brahma. He performed severe penance and was driven by the power of his penance; Lord Brahma appeared before him. Narakasura knew his mother loved him dearly so he asked Lord Brahma to grant him a boon that he would only die by the hands of his mother, Bhumidevi. Lord Brahma smile and ultimately granted him the boon.
Narakasura burst out laughing as Lord Brahma vanished. He thought no mother would kill their child so Lord Brahma had made him immortal. Drunk and maddened by his own power Narakasura brought all the kingdoms under his control and targeted Swargalok (Heaven). Even Indra (King of Gods) and demi-gods had to retreat in front of Narakasura. He kidnapped and took 16,000 women from the palaces as prisoners. Troubled by Naraksura's deeds the gods rushed to Lord Vishnu for a solution.
Lord Krishna and Devi Satyabhama were born to kill Narakasura
Lord Vishnu was born as Lord Krishna and Narakasura's mother Bhumidevi took the avatar of Krishna's wife Satyabhama. As Satyabhama, Bhumidevi was unaware of the knowledge of Naraksura being her son. Aditi the mother of all gods approached Satyabhama crying for help with bloodied ears as Narakasura had torn off the glowing earrings from the ears of Aditi.
Satyabhama was furious on gaining the knowledge of Narakasura's atrocities she asked Krishna to fight the demon king while she fights alongside him. Krishna agreed and they attacked the great fortress of Narakasura, riding his mount Garuda with his wife Satyabhama.
The furious battle unleashed. Krishna defeated Narakasura's general Mura and came to be known as Murari (the killer of Mura). Narakasura used several divine weapons against Krishna, but Krishna slew all those weapons effortlessly. The demon hurled a shakti towards Krishna, which mildly hurt Krishna and he fell unconscious. Upon this sight Satyabhama was enraged, she furiously pulled out a weapon of her own and hurled it at Narakasura's chest. Anxious Satyabhama turned to her fallen Lord, Krishna got up with a smile and he was completely fine. He was only playing his part. It was Satyabhama who was an incarnation of Bhoomidevi, whose hands were destined to slay Narakasura.
ALSO READ: Choosing Environment-Friendly Diwali
Lord Krishna and Goddess Satyabhama had put an end to the Narakasura's kingdom of evil. As Narakasura lay on his deathbed he realised that Satyabhama was no one but an avatar of his own mother. He requested a boon from his mother, for no one to mourn his death. Instead, he wished for people to celebrate it with light and colours. They freed the 16,000 women who later married Lord Krishna to restore them of their honour in society, retrieved Mother goddess's earrings. This day is celebrated as 'Naraka Chaturdashi' popularly known as Choti Diwali - the day before Diwali as the triumph of good over evil.
Keywords: Diwali festival, goddess Laxmi, demon king, Lord Krishna, Satyabhama, the festival of light, Naraksura, Narak Chaturdashi
For all the great inventions that we have at hand, it is amazing how we keep going back to the safety pin every single time to fix everything. Be it tears in our clothes, to fix our broken things, to clean our teeth and nails when toothpicks are unavailable, to accessorize our clothes, and of course, as an integral part of the Indian saree. Safety pins are a must-have in our homes. But how did they come about at all?
The safety pin was invented at a time when brooches existed. They were used by the Greeks and Romans quite extensively. A man named Walter Hunt picked up a piece of brass and coiled it into the safety pin we know today. He did it just to pay off his debt. He even sold the patent rights of this seemingly insignificant invention just so that his debtors would leave him alone.
Anyone wearing safety pins that were visible began to be associated with the rock movement in the 70s. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
Later, he even invented the sewing needles and a couple of other important inventions but never kept any of the patent rights.
When the punk rock tradition took over in the seventies, safety pins became a fashion rage. They were used as piercings and to patch clothes together. Anyone wearing safety pins that were visible began to be associated with the rock movement. In some cultures, the safety pins have become symbols of good luck.
Keywords: Safety-pins, Punk Rock, Brass, Accessories, Walter Hunt
In South India, Deepavali marks the end of the monsoon and heralds the start of winter. The festival is usually observed in the weeks following heavy rain, and just before the first cold spell in the peninsula. The light and laughter that comes with the almost week-long celebration are certainly warm to the bones, but there is still a tradition that the South Indians follow to ease their transition from humidity to the cold.
Just before the main festival, the family bathes in sesame oil. This tradition is called 'yellu yennai snaana' in Kannada, or 'ennai kuliyal' in Tamil, which translates to 'sesame oil bath'. The eldest member of the family applies three drops of heated oil on each member's head. They must massage this oil into their hair and body. The oil is allowed to soak in for a while, anywhere between twenty minutes to an hour. After this, they must wash with warm water before sunrise.
Women applying oil to the heads of men Photo credit: Indians in Kuwait
In some parts of the peninsula, soap is not used to wash off the oil because it nullifies its effects. Some cultures who do not like the oil to remain in any way on their skin wash it off with shikakai and herbs, which is a paste that is traditionally used as a substitute for soap. Sometimes, the oil is heated with flowers and spices as well and is less sticky than in its pure form.
The purpose of this ritual is to cleanse the body, detoxify it, and produce heat in it. Sesame is a very heaty substance and tends to heat up the body. This heat, or 'usshna' in Kannada, prepares the body to face the sudden cold that comes to the peninsula immediately after Diwali. South India has no smooth transition weather-wise from monsoon to winter. There are a few days of stable, rainless weather, and suddenly the cold winds descend.
In many ways, the celebration of Diwali is centered around preparing for winter, considering the amount of heat and light the rituals consist of – lighting lamps, bursting crackers, and consuming warm treats. Those who practice these rituals earnestly find the shift in seasons and weather quite pleasant.
Keyboards: Sesame Oil Bath, Diwali Ritual, Traditional Sesame Oil Bath