Last Thursday, a deal was made with Iran that would put a limit to its nuclear centrifuges and enriched uranium. In return, the U.S. and other world leaders, including Germany, Britain, Russia, China and France (otherwise known as the P5+1), will be “providing relief to Iran’s limp economy,” reported Time. By limiting Iran’s access to nuclear power, P5+1 hopes to prolong Iran’s ability to build nuclear weapons. President Obama seems optimistic about the deal claiming, “If Iran cheats, the world will know it … if we see something suspicious, we will inspect it.” Others, however, are not so sure. Israeli and Arab powers among other critics, such as the Republicans and some Democrats, suggest that this deal with Iran poses a danger to the U.S., Israel and other allies.
The degree of agreement on Iran’s part has also been exaggerated, Newsmax reported. There have been reports of inconsistencies in the Iran nuclear deal across the board and this means trouble. Obama is treating the deal as a complete success, but this is not accurate. The deal has only been ‘agreed’ upon for a short time, and the holes in its framework are already starting to show through.
What world leaders actually agreed upon has proved wholly ambiguous. The U.S. is being led to believe that a unanimous decision regarding Iran’s nuclear usage has been made. However, accounts from the various world leaders who convened in Switzerland to discuss the Iran deal tell a different story. “They amount to different, at times starkly contradictory, narratives,” The New York Post reported. This does not sound like the historic deal that many publications are claiming it to be. If world leaders can’t even agree on what they supposedly made a definite decision about, how is anyone to be sure that Iran understands what is expected of them? This deal that Obama is so excited about needs work. The most important thing is to get everyone on the same page, especially Iran.
The U.S. and the other world leaders have until the end of June to “finalize” their agreement, according to The New York Times. Even if they agree on what their expectations are, the deal doesn’t appear too promising. “The deal would cut Iran’s stockpiles of enriched uranium by 98 percent for 15 years, and it would cut Iran’s installed centrifuges by two-thirds for 10 years,” NBC News reported. This seems like a short-term fix in the grand scheme of things. After the 15 year period, there would be nothing stopping Iran from continuing to build a nuclear bomb. Iran would have benefitted from our removal of economic sanctions and would still be free to wreak havoc on Israel, Saudi Arabia, and other neighboring nations. Obama is treating this deal as if it would prevent Iran from creating a nuclear bomb, but all it really does is prolong it.
The apprehension of Iranian breakout time has been misperceived by critics causing them to place their worry in the wrong area. “Breakout time measures the time needed to produce fissile material for a bomb, not the bomb itself,” claims Ali Vaez of America Aljazeera. U.S. officials are confident that this breakout time will be long enough for them to detect any secret attempts to build a nuclear bomb, but timing isn’t what we should be worrying about. “Inspectors still might not be able to enter Iranian military sites where nuclear work previously took place,” the Associated Press reported. If Iran has the ability to covertly use the little resources they have to produce material for a bomb, there is no guarantee that they won’t.
The one year breakout time that the deal has required of Iran won’t be a helpful regulation if Iran uses their private headquarters to create bombs right under our noses. By removing economic sanctions in Iran, we may be giving them other means to secretly create nuclear weapons. The war that we’re trying to prevent may start even in place of P5+1’s good intentions.
Obama needs to present this deal for what it is: a work in progress. Clearly there has been no consensus on what the protocol regarding Iran will be. Though the U.S. claims that they have set up international inspections to prevent Iran from building a bomb, “negotiating a legally binding document is likely to be harder than expected, particularly in the area of verification and inspections,” because Iran and the U.S. are not in agreement over these details, according to The LA Times. If Iran doesn’t agree to these inspections, then world leaders don’t have much of a deal. The P5+1 needs to reach an actual agreement on what the policies in Iran will be. Most importantly, Iran needs to acknowledge that they understand what is expected of them for this deal to work. So far, the Iran nuclear deal doesn’t even have that going for it.
Sam Allen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.