Should the Iran nuclear deal be revived?

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Markus Joks, Contributing Writer

 In 2015, world leaders formulated the Joint Comprehensive Plan for Action (JCPA), commonly known as the Iran Nuclear Deal, which restricted Iran’s uranium enrichment process (critical for the creation of atomic bombs) via the lifting of economic sanctions.  The purpose of the deal was to increase the amount of time it would take Iran to build a nuclear weapon, should it choose to.  However, in 2018, the US announced its withdrawal from the agreement, and consequently, Iran began illegally increasing their uranium enrichment plans.  

Recently, the International Atomic Energy Agency, a sub-agency of the United Nations, reached an agreement with Iran to work towards solving the nuclear issue between the two nations.  This has raised hopes for renewed talks between the US and Iran, especially given that the Biden Administration has expressed its aim to re-enter the nuclear deal.  

“The safety of private citizens and civilians is of utmost importance, and clearly nuclear warfare would put civilians in danger.  So decreasing the likelihood of nuclear war by shrinking Iran’s nuclear program is certainly good for the human population on Earth,” said senior Alex Parker.

The JCPA certainly has its flaws.  For instance, some argue that the JCPA dossier is not strong enough to prevent Iran from creating nuclear weapons, which could be concerning, considering the political ideology of the nation.  According to Rafael Grossi, the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Iran did not take responsibility for nuclear material particles found at several sites.

“After many months, Iran has not provided the necessary explanation for the presence of the nuclear material particles at any of the three locations where the Agency has conducted complementary accesses (inspections),” said Grossi in a report to IAEA member states in June of last year. (where did he say this) 

Consequently, some people believe that any deal is a futile pursuit.

“I don’t think the Iran Nuclear Deal is worth it because we can easily destroy them if it comes down to it and it would be a very minor risk,” said sophomore Dylan Sommer.

On the other hand, the Iran Nuclear Deal had clear, tangible benefits and was an important step toward stabilizing nuclear relations.  Most notably, Iran’s nuclear weapon production program was halted and restrained.  

“[Following the enactment of the nuclear deal, Iran’s] stockpile of dangerous materials was reduced.  The deployment of its advanced centrifuges was stopped.  Inspections did increase.  There was no flood of money into Iran, and the architecture of the international sanctions remained in place,” said President Barack Obama in an address to American University shortly after the accord was signed.

 President Obama was alluding to an arrangement in place that prevented Iran from receiving their frozen assets and sanction relief until the country met certain parameters over a period of time following the passage of the deal.  This stipulation undercuts a common counterargument against the Iran nuclear deal that the end of sanctions, which prevents certain flows of capital into the country, will result in an economically stronger, and thus, more dangerous, Iran.  The US must consider these safety measures as an integral part of negotiations on a nuclear deal with Iran, as a more militarily powerful Iran is a threat to Americans of all stripes.  

Overall, reviving the Iran nuclear deal is the best policy for civilians around the world, as the previous deal restricted Iran’s nuclear program — and thus, partially stabilized the risk of nuclear warfare; the benefits  are undeniable.  However, it is important that the US and its allies set up guard-rails in any new nuclear deal to prevent a dangerous flood of money into Iran.

“The original nuclear deal helped shrink Iran’s nuclear weapons program, which protected civilians from nuclear destruction.  I think that we should definitely seek a new deal in order to make the world a safer place,” says junior Rianna Baecher.