Recently over the weekend the world stood witness to an event in history that I did not see happening any time soon or believing that would actually happen. A short-term deal was brokered over the weekend with the U.N. Security Council and Germany (known as P5+1) and Iran. This deal has halted Iran’s enrichment program for six months. However, Iran will be able to maintain their 11,000 usable centrifuges but will not be allowed to operate more then the number then have now. The uranium that has been enriched to 20% levels must be converted or diluted. The agreement has also allowed for inspectors to enter into Iran and inspect their facilities. These inspections will monitor Iran for the next six months as a much more comprehensive deal is created. They will ensure whether or not Iran is standing behind the short-term deal that they agreed to.
This deal seemed to me that there was some hope in diplomacy because world powers were able to compromise with Iran. So many talks have taken place with Iran and little to no progress has been made as the one we saw take place this weekend. The new leader of Iran (President Hassan Rouhani) stated after defeating former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the presidential elections that he would become more transparent with the West when it comes to their nuclear program. Of course in return to the guidelines put forth on Iran, the Islamic Republic did reap some benefits. In exchange the world leaders agreed to lift some not all of the sanctions that have been placed one the country.
The economic sanctions that have been placed on Iran have been very destructive to the Islamic Republic. The sanctions targeted the most precious resource that drove the Iranian economy and that would be oil. European countries were no longer allowed to purchase Iranian oil. The sanctions placed by the West crippled the countries currency by cutting its value by 65%. From one perspective the sanctions can be categorized as unofficial war an economic war. While the other side would argue that it is necessary to cripple Iran’s economy in order to prevent them from building a nuclear weapon.
It understandable why we would not want Iran to hold a nuclear weapon in its arsenal. It provides the possibility of creating a nuclear arms race on similar to the one that took place between the United States and Russian. If Iran gets hold of a nuclear weapon it would only encourage Saudi Arabia to pursue for a nuclear weapons program or entice Iraq to start one as well. It also poses a threat to Israel who has received threats from Iran from its former president. Also Iran has played a hand in the Syrian conflict by providing Assad with Iranian Revolution Guard members as well as advisors and even calling on Hezbollah in Lebanon to assist in the fighting.
Critics have blasted the Obama administration for the Iranian deal. Members of both side of the house have voiced their anger towards the deal saying that it doesn’t do enough and that we cannot trust Iran. Israel has also labeled this as the worst deal in history so it is seen that you some opposition to the deal. However, there are also people who have said that this deal is a move in the right direction, that it is a big step between the relationship that the United States and Iran will have if a longer deal is accomplished.
This deal I believe is something that can open the door for all sorts of possibilities if Iran can truly show the world that its nuclear program is for peaceful means. I do believe countries should pursue other degrees of energy production even if that includes nuclear energy. I think we should look at the deal which allows for inspectors to tour Iranian facilities and view that as a plus. I doubt we believed that we would have Iran concede to inspectors. Also we should give diplomacy a chance for once.
When the people of Iran heard of the news they celebrated as if it was declared that the war has ended. One woman said she was happy that the deal was struck because it means that there will not be a war in her country. When I heard this as I watched Al Jazeera it made caught me off guard. There are more people just like that young woman who felt that the burden of war may just have been lifted off the shoulders of their country.
I do understand the fear that people have in giving Iran a chance to prove themselves to the West. But we cannot believe that force and sanctions will give was what we seek. I understand that the prior president of Iran did not give the U.S. any hope for talks on their nuclear program and would understand why we would be a bit more skeptical of Mr. Rouhani. But the new president has taken steps to show that he is a somewhat moderate. He has freed political prisoners and has now brokered a deal with the U.N Security Council and Germany. He is showing transparency that we have not seen from the Islamic Republic. This deal can only prove true in six months and after reports from the inspectors are reported to the security council and released to the public. If the Iran fails to comply then the dimmer of hope the world held that some stability in the Middle East would take place has now faded once again.
Members of the House here in the United States should not make the quick decision however, to pass new sanctions onto Iran because that will truly kill any chance of this deal from forming into a much longer and historical deal. President Obama if faced with this situation will have to implement his veto power and show Iran that he is serious to see progress with the new president and his government.
Time will truly tell us whether we were right in giving Iran this deal and the opportunity to show the world that its nuclear power is for peaceful purpose. We cannot dictate to other countries what they can invest when it comes to energy production. We should not hinder in the process of a country attempting to fine better means in distributing energy to its citizens thats is cheaper and cost efficient. Iran believe it or not if we strike a bigger deal with the country can provide the help needed to instill some stability in the region especially with Syria. At the same time that this deal was struck it was discovered that Syrian government and the Opposition will meet in Geneva in two months for talks on possible peaceful solution. Again we must wait and see what happens from those talks but I do believe that the talks between Iran and the world powers created some momentum.
Diplomacy should not be disregarded as a move that is weak because you attempt to reach out to your enemy. Iran has a new administration and it does not seem weak that we attempt to reach out and try to work for the common goal of peace. War is not what either side is seeking but tough rhetoric and not giving this a chance can truly be counter productive.