Wed Dec 28, 2016 5:43AM
People vote in the Iranian parliamentary elections. (File photo)
People vote in the Iranian parliamentary elections. (File photo)

Among the highlights of politics in 2016 were a US-Iran naval incident, the implementation of the JCPOA, unprecedented parliamentary elections in Iran, and Saudi Arabia’s banning of Iranians from Hajj.

The first political incident that caught the world by surprise was the detainment of American sailors, who had entered Iranian territorial waters on January 12.

Iran’s nuclear deal, which comes second in importance, was struck in January 16 2016. According to the deal, which is known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran was promised sanctions relief in exchange for curbing its nuclear program.

Iran’s 2016 parliamentary elections turned out to be historic as all the 30 members of the Hope list made their way to the Parliament.

Saudi Arabia blocked Iranians from Hajj rituals by putting strange obstacles on the way, which indicates how Riyadh treats such an important religious ceremony politically.

In 2016, many important events came to attention. The US presidential election was one of them as Donald Trump became the president of the United States of America. The Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) was extended, which was criticized severely by Iranian authorities. After all, with Trump in the White House, the future of Iran’s nuclear deal is vague. Many believe that the US has not fulfilled its obligations under the deal; however, Iran has proved its commitment to the deal as per IAEA verifications.

The IPC oil and gas contracts, which stands for Iran (Integrated) Petroleum Contract, was introduced during the incumbent government and was another significant event. The Tehran Summit was where foreigners became familiar with these contracts.

President Rouhani, in unprecedented action, decided to change three members of his cabinet just eight months ahead of the next presidential election. The ministers of Culture and Islamic Guidance and Education and Youth Affairs and Sports were the ones whose resignation were approved by the president.