U.S. and Iran seek closure to nuclear deal

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(Photo source: CreativeCommons)

Ethan Wong, Staff Writer

Foreign ministers representing the United States, China, United Kingdom, Russia, and other various nations met with the leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Lausanne, Switzerland from March 26 to April 2 to negotiate and discuss an agreement on Iran’s controversial nuclear program.

Iran’s nuclear program first began in the 1950s during the Cold War, and has been under scrutiny by numerous worldwide organizations since the early 2000s for suspicion of possession and development of nuclear weapons.  However, the Iranian diplomats have dismissed the claims as exaggerations numerous times, and President Hassan Rouhani has been clashing with the numerous diplomats in the past weeks about the details of the deal.

Social studies teacher James Han believes that Iran and the other nations involved should find agreements and meet all of their commitments to avoid harming the Iranian economy with unfair sanctions.

“I think there needs to be good faith shown on both sides and there are policies implemented to assure that both sides are living up to the agreements that they have negotiated,” Han said. “Sanctions have had a major effect on the Iranian economy which definitely affects the people of Iran who may not necessarily agree with governmental policies.”

Junior Mark Guo thinks that sanctions should not be changed to ensure that the United States would have leverage over Iran in the case of a negative outcome.

“If we remove the sanctions right now, Iranian Nationalists who hate the United States have a chance to get into power,” Guo said. “They would have all the more power to influence the countries around them with their politics, and this could destabilize our position in the world.”

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and various allies of the U.S. are aiming to achieve limitations on Iran’s nuclear activities, such as development and enrichment of nuclear devices, as well as cutbacks on the number of nuclear research facilities.  If these commitments are met by Iran, numerous sanctions will be lifted by the U.S.

Many Republican politicians and members of the GOP condemned the deal, standing in sharp opposition to those involved in the deal, claiming that negotiating with Iran is a betrayal, and accommodating a hostile nation is a mistake.

Han sees the opposition of the two parties as a necessary part of the diplomatic relations between Iran.

“I think it is always important to engage in diplomacy to solve issues between countries especially when dealing with the possible proliferation of nuclear weapons,” Han said. “There may also be some partisan politics playing a role in the negotiation and passage of this deal with Iran.”

Throughout the years, U.S. hospitality has been scarce with nuclear nations, particularly with Iran, with former president Bill Clinton once promising that Iran will never have a nuclear weapon.  Many fear the outcomes and effects of nuclear negotiations such as these, and many believe that this deal will spite us if Iran uses its weapons against us.

Senior Emily Ottesen foresees a possible increase in conflict between Iran and Israel, but it’s effect is unknown at this point.

“Iran has more of a chance to bomb Israel because if they feel powerful enough that’s the first thing they will do, and it would set off chaos because of all the allied countries in this situation,” Ottesen said. “This is extreme though and most likely they won’t actually bomb any country because Iran usually never follows through.”

Han believes that any major repercussions of the deal will not soon be evident, but sees details within the deal that may cause fear with politicians.

“We will not know the long term effects of a deal for many years, however, we have already seen that Russia has made a weapons deal with Iran with the loosening of sanctions.  These surface to air missiles can be used to protect itself from either Israel or the U.S. if the deal is broken,” Han said.  “This is why there are many politicians that believe that there need to be stronger measures in place in order to protect the U.S. and its allies in the region.”

The deal is expected to have a deadline of July 1.