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Why the Iran Deal matters

Illustration of the Iran flag with the shadow of Donald Trump's profile
Photo Illustration by Haley Prieto | Staff Illustrator

Though the Iran deal has been out of the news, it has regained relevance under the Trump administration. The Iran deal refers to an agreement between the five permanent United Nations Security Council members plus Germany, the European Union and the Islamic Republic of Iran. After years of negotiations, every nation reached a deal: In exchange for Iran abandoning its research for a nuclear weapon, economic sanctions would be lifted.

Additionally, the deal includes provisions which prohibit Iran from possessing equipment and operating facilities that could enrich uranium to nuclear weapons. The United Nations holds the right to inspect Iran’s nuclear facilities at random times to ensure they are complying with the agreement.

At President Donald Trump’s United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Speech, he called the Iran deal an “embarrassment for the United States.” Such language shows our President clearly does not understand the contents of the Iran Deal.

Through this deal, we successfully stopped a nation from creating nuclear weapons. In contrast, President Trump has engaged in a name-calling feud with the Supreme Leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Kim Jong-un. Rather than diplomatically crafting an agreement similar to the Iran Deal, Trump continues to offensively speak out against the rogue nation. In response, they retaliate by testing their nuclear capabilities.

Is it still possible to reach a peaceful resolution with North Korea? However, if Trump pulls out of the Iran Deal, what will convince North Korea to negotiate with us? The nation has already been hit by tough economic sanctions and they continue to test nuclear weapons and missiles. Recently, Kim Jong-un announced that North Korea would be conducting a hydrogen bomb test in the Pacific Ocean as a direct response to Trump’s UNGA speech.

The safety of our citizens is a number one priority; therefore, we cannot allow North Korea to reach nuclear capabilities that threaten our cities. We should try to negotiate with them, but this is only possible if our government stays true to their promise with Iran. There is no reason to withdraw from the deal because, thus far, Iran has complied with the agreement.

If we want to prove to other nations of the world that we are willing to be diplomatic in our foreign policy approach, then we must stay true to our word. Our government made a deal with a sovereign nation, and we cannot let partisan differences jeopardize our agreements with foreign governments.

Trump loves to talk about “law and order.” If he truly values law and order then he will stay true to our nation’s agreement with Iran. The backlash from withdrawing from the deal will not only open the door for Iran to create a nuclear weapon, but it will also damage our reputation and hinder any chance of negotiating with other sovereign nations.

The world will be a better place when our society values diplomacy over violence. Negotiations must be the first step to any conflict, therefore the Iran Deal and other agreements like NATO and NAFTA matter. We gave other nations our word that we would live up to our end of the bargain, and we must make sure our government stays true to their word.

– Ben Salinas is a political science sophomore


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