by Jason Thiel – Staff Writer
On January 16, 2016, the International Atomic Energy Agency completed its verification that Iran had complied with the Iran deal. This meant that Iran’s breakout time went from two or three months to 12 months or more. This deal, negotiated by Obama and his administration, was the climax of over a decade of diplomacy and negotiations between world powers and Iran. It created a consensual agreement between the major powers and Iran to allow the international community to monitor Iran’s fiscal dealings involving nuclear materials and power. If they fail to comply with a condition, the international community will slap sanctions back on them, destabilizing their economy and making it harder to build any sort of nuclear weapon.
Since then, this landmark deal has been threatened. Donald Trump ran his campaign with the promise of retreating from the Iran deal, claiming that it was “a path whose predictable conclusion is more violence.” He believes that it doesn’t go far enough to ban Tehran from building nuclear weapons or intercontinental missiles. In October, he announced that he wouldn’t certify that Iran is complying with the terms of the agreement, forcing Congress to either reimpose sanctions or come up with a solution, whether it be changing the rules or completely leaving altogether. Trump threatened to leave the agreement if Congress couldn’t come with a satisfactory solution. This may be a bigger task than he realizes, as any legislation would require 60 votes in the Senate, which means that Republicans would have to garner support from at least 8 Democrats.
Trump’s discontent with Iran is founded in the belief that they can’t change from the terrorist nation they’ve been in the past. He has blamed them for harboring terrorists, holding hostages, and working with North Korea, dating back to 1979. He has suggested that Iran cannot change from the nation that supported Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Taliban. Trump has claimed that their two favorite chants are ‘Death to America’ and ‘Death to Israel,’ which has no evidence behind it.
Critics of Trump have said that he risks isolating the US diplomatically, which would give up intrusive gains in monitoring Iran’s nuclear dealings. Other major powers in the deal have responded by saying they will not renegotiate, as the current deal is landmark and cannot be outdone at this time. Whether Trump will get his way due to the gridlock in Congress, or they’ll find a way to resolve this diplomatic shakeup without causing too many international problems, is a good question, and one that could really change the world we know today.