USC and ITAM international relations students discuss the Iran nuclear agreement. Group 5

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    Pamela Starr

    On July 14, 2015, an agreement between Iran and the P5+1 countries to curb Iran’s ability to develop a nuclear weapon was announced. Some have argued that this agreement is a significant and positive step forward for nuclear non-proliferation, and as such it makes the world a safer place. Others argue just the opposite, that this agreement is fatally flawed. Not only will it fail to limit Iran’s capacity to obtain nuclear weapons in the future, it makes the Middle East and the world a significantly more dangerous place.

    What do you think, and why? Is this agreement a step forward or a step backward in terms of nuclear non-proliferation? Will it make the Middle East and the world a safer or a more dangerous place? In either case, please provide clear and valid evidence to prove that your position is superior to the other.

    Please limit your answer to no more than 300 words. Obviously this gives you VERY little space to make your argument, so you must be brief. One approach would be to use bullet points to list the evidence to support your argument. Keep in mind that the purpose of this written portion of the assignment is to create a foundation for your upcoming face-to-face conversation. Do not think of it as your fully developed argument but instead as an introduction to it that your counterparts will read to get a sense of your views before the group conversation.

    Lauren Day

    While some argue that the recent Iran nuclear deal is a step toward nuclear non-proliferation, it actually has made the middle east a much more dangerous place. The deal will lift economic sanctions that has crippled Iran’s economy for years. While this will help the Iranian people have a thriving country, it also gives Iran financial aid to purchase lots of military weapons. This will make the middle east a more dangerous place because Iran sponsors a lot of terrorist groups like Hezbollah and Hamas. These groups support taking out Sunni Muslims, and Iran is primarily a Shia state, which is why countries like Israel and Saudi Arabia are now very concerned. They are concerned that Iran now has the financial means to take them out.
    In addition, while the deal requires Iran allow inspectors to make sure they don’t cheat. The deal allows Iran to have a 24-day warning before inspectors come in. This gives them plenty of time to dispose of any nuclear weapon factory. Also, the Parchin nuclear site, a facility that is suspected of housing nuclear weapons, is on an Iranian military base. The deal states that because of this they can have an inspector, but it can be an Iranian. Thus, Saudi Arabia is very concerned that they will cover up any potential nuclear weapons. As a result, this deal could bring the middle east one step closer to a nuclear arms race, since the countries cannot trust that Iran will stop building nuclear weapons. I believe the deal will make the middle east more dangerous because now the surrounding country’s safety is threatened.

    Alina Gonzales

    Some people affirm that the agreement between the p5+1 and Iran is the correct way in order to achieve the nuclear non-proliferation and a certain situation of peace, but some others explain that this accordance is an historical mistake. In my opinion, it’s very difficult to take a position on this matter. This situation reminds me of the conflict of ideas about which one is a more peaceful situation, the one in which power is divided between one country, between two of them or between a lot of them. Which should lead to a more peaceful world: an Iran with nuclear weapons or one without them? Maybe in the first case the other countries (like Israel, country that has nuclear weapons) would have to think twice when they feel tempted to attack other countries like Iran. In that case, the agreement wouldn’t benefit the Middle East’s peace, but it would benefit the nuclear non-proliferation. In the other hand, the treaty surely offers some time to the Middle East countries in which they won’t have to worry about another state threatening the security of the zone. The issue that the prime minister of Israel explains is that the money that Iran would be receiving when the sanctions become removed would represent more investment to terrorism, which would obviously be harmful to world’s peace. So, until now it’s not pretty clear if the settlement represents a good or a bad idea, but there’s still another point that could make the difference. The removal of the sanctions to Iran and the chance the state gets to be part of the commercial relations between the countries could be so beneficial for the Asian country that it would think twice before encouraging war, if it’s the case, the accordance could be the correct way to approach the nuclear non-proliferation and to achieve the peace.

    Ruben Aguilar

    The Iranian Nuclear Deal, as we know, is the result of over 20 months of negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 in matter of nuclear proliferation, more specifically, in matter of the Iranian nuclear program. The result has been widely discussed and criticized; however, supporting the agreement doesn’t mean that you’re an ‘appeaser’, and opposing it doesn’t make you a ‘warmonger’.
    The deal; however, must be analyzed not only weather if it will contribute to stop Iran from pursuing nuclear weapons or not. Many other relevant factors involved in the negotiations are to be taken into account in order to fully comprehend the general purpose of such agreement, some of these critical factors are ISIL’s appeasement and economic development in the Middle East; therefore, the Iranian Nuclear Deal is in fact a useful liberal tool to promote cooperation amongst occidental nations and the Middle East, ensuring worldwide security and free trade.
    Most of the critiques made to the resolution are based on the perception of weak inspections, effectively irreversible sanctions relief, and the legitimization and endorsement of Iran’s nuclear program. Such preoccupations are only legitimate if the general purpose is to sabotage any Iranian attempt of progress; probably the only well founded critique is the one regarding the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspections, which, in deed should have had more rigorous procedures.

    Samhaoir Ruland

    Although some critics make the argument that the Iran nuclear agreement will only cause more conflict and increase instability in the Middle East, this deal is definitely a first necessary step in the right direction towards making the Middle East, and the rest of the world, a safer place. Without this agreement, Iran would be continuing to research and develop nuclear weapons, with the possibility of war constantly lurking just around the corner. Hence, the fact that Iran will be unable to produce nuclear weapons for the next 15 years creates the most peaceful outcome available at the current moment. This situation also—at least temporarily—placates Iran because they are being allowed to retain their nuclear knowledge so that, if they complete the deal successfully without cheating, they will be able to continue a peaceful nuclear program in the future as a member of the nonproliferation treaty.

    This agreement is also an important catalyst for creating interdependencies between Iran and the P5 + 1 countries. These interdependencies increase the opportunity for trade and open a platform for peaceful communication, hence creating trust, which could allow for future cooperation. Moreover, if the P5 + 1 countries and Iran both fulfill their parts of the agreement, the possibility that these countries will become more reliant on each other in the future also increases. This is an integral step in changing Iran’s nature and attitude toward the status quo so that shared interests are better able to be found and acted upon where they exist. While this agreement is not based on trust, and is instead based on a “verifiable mechanism” in which inspectors are ensuring Iran does not cheat, this agreement opens up a possibility for trust between these nations in the near future.

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