Defending the Iranian Nuclear Deal, America should not pull out
According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Iran has not been enriching uranium for the purpose of building a nuclear weapon.
Iran also continued to uphold United Nations Security Council resolution 2231 which put the Iranian Nuclear Deal into effect. Iran has also been a member of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) since 1968 which stipulates that they will never produce nuclear weapons.
Despite these facts, the Trump regime has continued to push for sanctions on Iran, which according to Article 29 of the deal, violates the agreement and could lead to the U.S. pulling out of the deal completely. The new sanctions are a clear indicator that Trump wants to isolate Iran without sufficient cause, and leaving the nuclear deal will further weaken U.S. diplomatic reputation internationally.
Sanctions are ineffective. They don’t lead to regime change, as when U.S. tried with Cuba, and they don’t hinder the targeted country’s ability to produce nuclear energy, like with North Korea.
The sanctions against Iran are a double standard; not only has Iran never built a nuclear weapon but there are countries that are not signatories to the NPT who have developed nuclear weapons and are not subject to sanctions.
The most obvious being India, which has never signed the treaty because the 1962 border war with China was still fresh in their memory and they wanted a deterrent. Despite having never signed the treaty and still tested nuclear weapons they have never faced sanctions. This should not imply that the U.S. should sanction India; rather, sanctions should be always be avoided.
The factors that are really driving the Trump regime to back away from the deal are American politics, and the influences of Riyadh and Tel-Aviv on U.S. foreign policy. The deal being a result of the Obama presidency is what makes it so revolting to Trump and it follows his pattern of dumping other foreign policy deals made by Obama, such as the new diplomatic relations with Cuba.
As for foreign influences, the Israel lobby’s five points on the deal show where they stand despite the fact that they are not a signatory to the NPT. In regards to Saudi Arabia’s stance, they have been pursuing a cold war with Iran since the Iranian Revolution as Iran’s republicanism poses an existential threat to the monarchy.
The implications of the U.S. pulling out of the deal are far-reaching, having diplomatic potential which could assist an end to the war in Syria, and could put an end to nuclear weapons development globally.
That the Trump regime wants to put an end to these possibilities damages our already fractured reputation in the region and gives us very little ground from which to negotiate. It also runs counter to the logic of being able to negotiate a nuclear deal with North Korea in the long-term. If a state official of North Korea looks at how we go back on deals with Iran they likely would not take the U.S. seriously in any negotiation.
According to Iran’s foreign minister Javad Zarif, the European Union has continued to stand by the deal. If the U.S. decides to take a step back by exiting the deal then we will ultimately increase global tensions and diplomatically isolate ourselves.
Staff writer Brant Roberts is a history graduate student. He can be reached at [email protected]