By Faustino Galante
I made myself promise Tuesday night. I told myself that I would not write an election column for my final article of this semester. Well, here I am, breaking my own promise. Sort of. I would like to make it clear that instead of focusing on Tuesday night’s debacle, or tearing into every aspect of our president-elect, I will spend this time to focus in on one particular consequence of Tuesday night’s verdict, one that many U.S citizens tend to discount: Donald Trump’s plan to repeal the Iran Nuclear Deal.
Since Tuesday, much of the hostility greeting Trump is rooted in domestic social matters. Many have avoided considering what our foreign policy might look like in the next four years. Well one thing is for certain: the future of American foreign policy, as long as Trump maintains his promises, looks grim. In the short-term, Trump’s plan to repeal the Iran Deal will create two complications. The United States, along with other countries, will no longer have the ability to keep a close-eye over Iran’s nuclear advancements. Also, the re-implementation of sanctions will, again, prove ineffective because they will only cause further international hostility, unease and confrontation.
Before demonstrating the damages that will arise as a result of repealing the deal, it is important that one has a general understanding of what the “it” entails. The main focus of the deal is to ensure that the country of Iran will not establish a nuclear weapons program. The deal still allows Iran to have a nuclear program. though that does not necessarily mean that the country is looking to build Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs).
The deal cuts Iran’s uranium centrifuges and exhausts its plutonium reactors. This limits the country’s nuclear capabilities and ensures that their program can never construct any power that can be used as a weapon.
The deal also makes Iran subject to the International Atomic Energy Agency, and allows the organization to investigate anything suspicious in regard to the program.
Under the deal, the U.S. has the most leverage it can possibly have over Iran without going to war with the country. Repealing the deal would bring us back to the status quo and make us again uncertain about the fate of Iran’s nuclear program. Uncertainty is never good in the case of WMDs. The last time the United States became unsure about a countries WMD capabilities, resulted in the Iraq War. For this reason, Trump’s repeal of the deal would diminish America’s power over Iran’s nuclear program, would prevent the International Atomic Energy Agency from performing routine investigations and would grant Iran the power to do as they pleased in regard to its uranium and plutonium output, thus allowing them access to possible weapon-grade nuclear power in the future.
Before the Iran Deal, the United States, along with most NATO countries, placed heavy sanctions on Iran in order to ensure that they would not go nuclear. Many politicians want to go back to the status quo and re-implement these sanctions lifted by the deal. Re-applying sanctions on Iran is not a good move, because Iran is in no way a stable nation. Adding sanctions to an already suffering economy would not bode well. If Iran’s economy were to crumble, which is indeed a possibility when heavy sanctions are applied to it, the country could become what Syria is today and venture into civil war. It must also be noted that sanctions will not necessarily make the country unable to produce nuclear energy. Russia has been a longtime supporter of Iran and opponent of the United States. For this reason, it is possible that in order to spite the U.S., Russia could take Iran under its wing.
This would put the U.S in further danger of being enemies with a nuclear nation.
It is doubtless that repealing the Iran Deal is not in America’s best interest. Going back to the status quo and re-implementing sanctions would only make Iran less stable and more susceptible to hating the Western world. Trump should take a gander at the title of his “hit” book, “The Art of the Deal,” and should try to understand that in repealing this deal, he would only bring uncertainty and the risk of another Iraq War.