USC and ITAM Spring 2016 Conversation Group 3

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    Hello everyone here is the topic and instructions. Please post your answer before the April 4th.

    Thank you.

    Topic: How might the Iran nuclear deal alter regional relations?

    In two paragraphs, answer the question and explain why your answer is correct (why you have reached that conclusion) using language and concepts of your course.

    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. But ensure that each point is sufficiently detailed so your points are perfectly clear for your colleagues and instructor. 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.

    Rachel Rountree

    The nuclear deal in Iran is likely to provide security in the Middle East and make a slight positive change to the on-going chaos in the region. Iran has been described responsible for much of the “Geopolitical chaos in the Middle East, which has dramatically widened over the past decade to make the region the world’s preeminent zone of military intervention and destructive environment.” (Harris, 2015) With the nuclear deal it will be more difficult for Iran to build nuclear weapons due to the limited supply of Uranium and the inspections of the facilities. Even if Iran was to slowly build a nuclear weapon, it would be a more timely process and the sanctions would be re-established, not to mention the number of nations that would group together to staunch the violence. The nuclear deal has been positively accepted by the majority of international reactions. The nation with the strongest opposition is that of Israel who believe that the deal will threaten the survival of Israel and will not stop Iran making any nuclear weapons. Although Israel has a strong opposition, the majority of the opinions are in favour of the deal as they feel the region will in the long run become more stable.
    On the other hand, the removal of the sanctions in Iran will cause an increase in Iranian money and may cause an increase in the Hezbollah movement in Lebanon. It may also aid Shia militaries in Iraq or Yemen which will influence the Arab states. With the power and money, the removal of the sanctuaries could cause the Islamic state to be more powerful and allow Iran to extend their influence in the region through terrorism groups and cause the Shia group to have more hegemony. This is more difficult than it seems for Iran however because they would have strong nations retaliate against them. The Gulf states, such as Saudi Arabia have strengthened their relationships with the United States of America due to security reasons. This is due to the United States already having strong alliances with many Middle Eastern states and being such a strong influence in the region. Although there are many possible reactions to the nuclear deal, “We have found the best available option by peaceful means rather than pursuing a worst option through war” (Maultan, 2015). In conclusion the nuclear deal will eventually ease regional tensions which have been present for decades but may not cause any significant changes for some time.

    Alexandra Tangalos

    The Iran nuclear deal will make it far more difficult to stem political violence in the Middle East. Iran is a financial and military backer of many violent rebel groups either directly or indirectly, and now with the sanctions being lifted and assets unfrozen the Iranian government will have much more money at its disposal to pursue its interests.

    Despite insisting that the nuclear program was only for civilian and energy purposes, Iran wanted a nuclear program to assert itself as a regional power to counter Saudi Arabia and protect itself from possible future Western invasions, all too possible to them after the US invaded its two neighbors, Iraq and Afghanistan. Despite this deal, Iran still maintains that it is not a friend of the United States and has no intention of capitulating to US desires for the region. This is problematic for those affected by groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas, both of which are funded by Tehran. In addition, the Iranian government vehemently supports Bashar al-Assad as an ally against Saudi Arabia and Israel; however, ISIL bogs down the civil war in Syria as both Assad and the rebels are more concerned with conquering each other than wiping out the Islamic State threat, and while Iran supports Assad any peace talks that try to negotiate his removal to end the fighting will be ineffective.

    Myklyn Balmut

    The Iran nuclear deal will likely have a negative impact on regional relations. Iran was already perceived as a threat to many of the nearby nations for several reasons such as their aggressive actions and involvement with terrorism and unstable regimes. This deal will only increase the perceived threat because of Iran’s stronger relations with the West and the economic gains Iran has received. Because most of the other regional powers such as Saudi Arabia and Israel already distrust Iran, this deal will only increase tensions. It is likely that these nations will try to counteract Iran’s growing autonomy and power by becoming stronger themselves, and much of that comes in the area of defense. As other countries build up their defenses to protect against possible danger, Iran will also build up their defenses creating an arms race. This arms race will only make a tense region even more tense, and it can escalate to detrimental levels in 10 years when Iran is able to continue working on their nuclear program.

    The deal may make the rest of the world feel more comfortable, and even the Middle East might be slightly more at ease with Iran, but due to a tumultuous past, very little could actually dissolve the tension in the region.

    Ricardo Uriegas

    On the economic realm, the end of the sanctions regime will allow Iran to experience an economic boost as it will open to international trade and finance. This can contribute to the development of the Persian country and the strengthening of relations with the regional states; however, the return of the Iranian oil to the international market that will lower the price for all petrol producers in the Middle East might have the opposite effect. Also, as Iran supports the Syrian regime and Hezbollah, the economic flow might mean more destabilization of the region and the expansion of terrorist operations.

    Politically, the deal helps to change the notion that Iran is an aggressive or irrational actor in the international community, allowing for peaceful approaches with other regional nations. The deal also glorifies democracy before Iran´s neighbors, as president Hassan Rouhani was elected on the promise to end the sanctions, and it illustrates diplomacy as an effective means for dispute settlement rather than any kind of coercion. Nonetheless, the deal also represents a Western departure from other Arab countries and a new, considerable American position in the region, which can lead the Gulf countries to closer ties with other powers, such as China and Russia. If not so, Saudi Arabia already views Iran’s influence in the region as a threat, thus, the deal calls for a rebalancing of influences in the Middle East. Moreover, the deal also isolates Israel, as the Gulf states see no use of opposing a done deal like Netanyahu does; and if Iran continues to finance further the Syrian regimen, the Jewish state might be inclined to issue a confrontation at its border.

    Rachel Rountree

    Hey everyone, when is a good time for you all to Skype? Would Thursday or Friday work?

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