July 14, 2015 by Chris Kite
Now that a deal has been forged to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons in exchange for lifting of sanctions, there are, as always seems to be the case in US Politics, two sides to the story. It is either a great deal or the end of the world.
I think that the truth is more middle of the road. I’m not convinced it is a great deal for the US and our middle eastern allies. But I AM convinced it is a decent deal and the best hope of preventing another middle eastern war. And I AM convinced that all the parties involved sincerely believe it avoids or at least greatly postpones Iran’s development of nuclear weapons.
The world is in a tough place with Iran and its quest for nuclear weapons. No one wants Iran to have them. That is how you could get Russia, China, Germany, France, the UK, and the US to agree on a deal in the first place. Russia and China and Europe have far more to fear than the US. They are terrified of the prospect of a nuclear armed Iran.
There really were only three options for preventing Iran from getting nuclear weapons. We could go to war. We could essentially inflict a complete and total blockade on Iran (which would likely lead to war). Or we could come to an agreement to allow inspectors in to confirm that Iran is not creating weapons.
Will Iran be stronger with this deal? Yes. The return of their money will make them stronger. But they won’t have nuclear weapons. And that is a very good thing because Iran having nuclear weapons would undoubtedly lead to its neighbors also acquiring nuclear weapons. Having more nuclear weapons in the hands of anyone is a bad thing. Having relatively unstable nations owning nuclear weapons would be a horrible thing!
Will Iran instantly become a responsible and lovable nation that is peace loving and open minded? Probably not. But it seems unlikely that was going to happen anyway. But brutal (not undeserved, but brutal nonetheless) sanctions don’t seem very likely to win the hearts and minds of Iran’s people either.
What this deal does is turn back Iran’s progress and insist on verification that nuclear weapons are not being developed. It will put sanctions back in place if Iran doesn’t cooperate. Which would put us back to where we were yesterday. The sanctions that have been imposed by the world over recent years were crippling and did exactly what they were designed to do. It brought them to the table and got them to agree to the Non Proliferation Treaty and allow inspections. Maybe we can’t trust them. We will quickly find out. And sanctions will immediately go back into place.
It gives Iran something that it wants in exchange for making the world a safer place. There is little doubt Iran will remain fairly hostile towards Israel, the US, and the western world. But as Secretary of State John Kerry said, it is easier to control a non-nuclear Iran than it is to control a nuclear Iran.
By all accounts, Iran was getting closer and closer to a nuclear weapon. This slows down their progress. Everyone should be happy to see that.
There are some that say it’s a bad thing because it gives Iran what it wants. There are some that seem to think the only possible option was war. War was not overly successful at stabilizing Iraq and Afghanistan and turning them into good friends and neighbors. In fact, war in Iraq created a less stable country, where radical Islam is thriving and terrorists are openly threatening and terrorizing people all over the world.
War in Iran wouldn’t be very likely to win the hearts and minds of Iranians and cause them to suddenly love the west. It would simply drive them underground and make them bolder and more desperate in the actions against the US and others.