On May 8th, United States President Donald Trump announced the United States’ withdrawal from the Iran Nuclear Deal. So what exactly does this mean for Iran, the United States, and the world? Learn about it in our latest deep dive.
Before we ‘dive’ in:
In 2002, Iran was suspected of developing nuclear weapons, and continued to do so even after inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). In 2006, the European Union, United States, and United Nations chose to respond by imposing sanctions that hurt Iran’s oil business, weapons sales, and economy.
What’s the Deal?
The Iran Nuclear Deal was an agreement reached in 2015 between Iran, P5+1 (China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, and United States: the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, plus Germany), and the European Union.
The deal aimed to restrict Iran’s capability to make a nuclear bomb and make sure that any nuclear technology being used was for nuclear energy. In order to use uranium for nuclear purposes, uranium ore mined from the earth needs to be enriched, or concentrated, using a device called a centrifuge. This enriched uranium is then used to make nuclear reactor fuel and weapons. At the time of the agreement, Iran had two main facilities for enriching uranium: Natanz and Fordo.
Let’s take a look at the agreements within the deal:
Okay…so what’s up with Trump?
Although President Trump just recently decided to leave the deal, other global leaders have previously voiced their opposition the deal. Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu was known for being against the agreement, stating that it “paves Iran’s path to the bomb.” In late April of this year, Netanyahu put forth “new and conclusive proof” that allegedly proved that Iran is hiding nuclear weapons and not keeping up their side of the bargain.
On May 8th, President Trump announced the United States’ withdrawal from the nuclear deal. In speech, President Trump stated, “We will be instituting the highest level of economic sanction. Any nation that helps Iran in its quest for nuclear weapons could also be strongly sanctioned by the United States.” Some say that the United States’ withdrawal from the deal could potentially strain relationships between the United States and its allies.
Prime Minister Theresa May (UK), Chancellor Merkel (Germany), and President Macron (France) expressed their concern over the United States’ decision in a joint statement. The three countries have declared their intention to preserve the agreement. However, Iran has not yet decided whether to stay or leave the agreement, and plans to reach a conclusion within the next few weeks.
What do you think? Is the nuclear deal a step towards world peace? Or is it paving “Iran’s path to the bomb?”