HTS 2041: The Modern Middle East

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Deal or No Deal: the Latest in Iranian Nuclear Negotiations

Before jumping into the details of what took place this week, allow me to explain in brevity some of the background in regard to the nuclear talks with Iran.


How did this start?

Negotiations with nuclear Iran began in 2002, when two hidden nuclear facilities within the country were revealed to the international community.  The negotiations of late have been catalyzed by the election of Hassan Rohani, who ran on a platform of ending Iran’s international isolation, as well as lifting the harsh economic sanctions that are in place as a consequence of the nation’s nuclear activities.

What does most of the world want?

The majority of the world wants to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.  They are seeking strict limits on Iran’s enrichment program and infrastructure, in an effort to lengthen their “breakout time,” the time it would take Iran to create a single nuclear weapon.

What does Iran want?

The nation’s most pressing need is relief from the severe economic sanctions that inhibit the growth of its resource-based economy.  They want the sanctions removed immediately, but as of now the deal is such that they will be relieved in stages, on the basis of good faith to the agreement.

What is the deal that was signed?

This past Thursday, a framework for the deal was released.  Many were surprised at the level of detail, but nothing is set in stone until the July 1st deadline.  The statement released will ensure Iran reduces its enrichment centrifuges from 19,000 to 6,000, and none of their most advanced models can be used for at least a decade.  These parameters, among others, are worthless if Iran is not held accountable, as such the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) will carry out a routine inspection regime to ensure their compliance.

What needs to happen by July 1st?

The plans need to be finalized and agreed upon, and the regime outlined in detail.  Essentially, nothing is set in stone yet, and everything needs to be solidified by all parties who are taking part in the negotiations.

Who is not happy about this?

Israel for one, is up in arms.  The Israeli prime minister has condemned the deal in the most extreme on terms, describing it as near apocalyptic.  Republicans in Congress are not happy about us “negotiating with terrorists,” and there are powerful groups in Iran who would be happy if they did not have the IAEA snoopy around in their territory.  Their protests are unheeded however, as objecting parties have yet to offer an alternative solution.


                  Israel’s View on the Deal

What does this all mean?

If everything continues along the current path, the world will sleep a little better at night knowing this will hopefully prevent a nuclear arms race, or worse, another war in the Middle East.  While it remains to be seen, there is the possibility that with the sanctions removed, Iran’s economy could become reintegrated into the world, and we could see a degree of trust between nations emerge.



  1. lalaninatl says:

    Great article summing up the situation with Iran’s nuclear program. I think it will be interesting to see how this plays out. Looking at the figure you posted of Israel’s view on the situation, it seems to be a terrible deal and it seems to against the policy of the US making deals with terrorists, but I think it is important to understand that nuclear technology can be used for good as well which is probably why we are compensating them to remove that as an energy source.

    • lalaninatl says:

      Also, Iran and others might be hesitant as this is another time the US will “meddle” with Iranian government and they probably want to avoid a situation like Operation Ajax.

  2. Travis says:

    I think that it was smart to establish things so that Iran will be given more leeway as they prove that they can abide by the guidelines that have been set. Also, with so many eyes on Iran, it will be easier to monitor their nuclear activities. Hopefully, Iran’s nuclear development will not cause dangerous levels of tension between itself, Israel, and the allies of each country.

  3. amiteichenbaum says:

    I really liked the concise format of this post! As for the content, I think the major concerns involve how long these guidelines are in place for. Some are only for 10 years. Iran still gets centrifuges and enriched uranium (I am not remotely an expert on Nuclear energy or bombs). The heavy regulations are promising, and allowing Iran back into the global economy may help the country progress (the new president is promising). However, there are still rallies and chants of “death to Israel!” I’m not convinced Iran doesn’t want a nuclear weapon, and I don’t believe they have proved themselves as a stable participant in global politics or wanting stability in the ME (especially considering their backing of Yemeni rebels). I very rarely side with Republicans but I don’t think this is a good deal, mostly because they are basically unable to build a nuclear weapon for only ten years. However, international inspections are for 25 years. There is a thought that they would probably continue what they are doing anyways, might as well regulate it, but I think that economic sanctions are enough to prevent them considering they’re basically crippling. However, crippling sanctions don’t allow a country to grow, especially progress. There are certainly arguments for both sides of this. Perhaps in the future they will be more trustworthy in my eyes, but for now I am not so sure.

  4. trevormcelhenny says:

    Very good article indeed. Nicely summed up the main points of the recent negotiations. I am also of the opinion that Iran should gradually be allowed to expand its nuclear program. Not necessarily for weapons at this point, but maybe in the future if they can prove to the world they are ready and responsible. I really don’t think they would be likely to build an arsenal of weapons with the world’s eye on them and IAEA inspections. There would be huge repercussions from such actions.

  5. lmoghimi3 says:

    After a long time with such strict sanctions with Iran it will be nice to try to work with this country and see if we can’t work on an agreement that will help everyone.

  6. kimpgt says:

    I love the format of the post! I understand both sides of the argument. The rest of the world does not want Iran with nuclear capability because of war concerns; however, Iran wants to be equal with other world powers, so they want nuclear advancements to achieve their goal. By pushing plan finalization till July, I feel that everyone is just postponing this procedure as long as possible. The framework that was signed essentially gives Iran the power it wants, but there are so many restrictions, they will not get to use nuclear power to the extent they want. I do understand that Iran has major conflicts with Israel and other countries, and perhaps giving them full abilities will make them trigger happy and attack everyone. However, I do hope that they can use nuclear energy to sustain more green energy and boost the economy. Trust is missing between Iran and the rest of the world- if Iran does not abuse its nuclear power, the world may begin to trust them again.

  7. coreilly says:

    Great article, the way it was laid out was easy to read and got straight to the point. The only thing we can d now is wait. We have to truly trust that Iran wants to be reintegrated into the world’s economy and thus will adhere to the guidelines of the negotiations. There is a possibility that they try and hide some nuclear development instead of getting rid of most of it. I think Iran is just sick of the economic sanctions and will be willing to follow the negotiations to get its country back on its feet. We are trusting Iran with a lot, and if they decide to go against the guidelines set by the negotiations, it could result in war. War is the last thing anyone needs right now, as well as Iran.

  8. mdsmith910 says:

    Great post, the way you set it up made it really easy to understand. Is anyone else concerned that Iran made a lot of detailed changes in the agreement? Aside from that, I believe that this agreement will be good for our relations with Iran in capping their power for the time being, while giving them the ability to get these sanctions removed by being responsible.

  9. emartin36 says:

    It will be interesting to see how Iran behaves following these negotiations. It would be wonderful if Iran “played the game” a little more and allowed more open talks towards some actual peace progress in the region. It is impossible to say right now, but I hope this can be a good thing that gets Iran speaking openly and worrying about the right issues.

  10. mlucchi says:

    Obviously Israel is not a fan of Iran so they are not a fan of the deal. I’m curious if Iran will follow through with their promises. It is probably in their best interest, as being an isolated nation has done nothing but hurt them. They probably have some lessons to learn from North Korea. President Obama seeks to have a good deal maybe partly because he now is looking to add to his legacy.

  11. corypope6 says:

    I think that it is great that we are engaging in diplomatic negotiations with Iran, and it is a very promising sign. However, Israel seems to be very unhappy about it, and for good reason. They have obviously had problems with Iran in the past, and have their own reasons for not wanting Iran to develop a bomb. Also, how does our negotiations with Iran affect our relationship with Israel? I think that it is important not to lose our friendship with Israel throughout these negotiations with Iran.

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