US–Iran Deal: Good Or Bad?

Approximately 20 months of negotiations have gone by before Iran and the U.S., UK, France, China, Russia, and Germany agreed to a long-term deal that will limit sensitive Iranian nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of crippling sanctions upon the Islamist Republic.

In the U.S., the deal is not perceived as a good one, especially among Republicans.

According to Speaker John Boehner, President Obama has failed to dismantle Iranian nuclear facilities. On his side, Lindsey Graham squarely considers the deal “dangerous and a possible death sentence for Israel.” Finally, is the deal good or bad?

Realistically, no one can accurately determine the significance of the Iran deal without understanding the historical context of the nuclear crisis as well as various factors that had led some nations to support the Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT), while others such as India, North Korea, Pakistan and Iran decided to follow an opposite path.

Let us remember that Iran signed the NPT in 1970 and ratified it since it was open to signature in July 1st, 1968. Iran’s decision to sign such international agreement not only expressed its position not to seek a nuclear weapon, but it also illustrated a commitment to building a world free of very dangerous weapons that can destroy human civilization in a jiffy.

One would then ask why Iran has now reversed its position and wants to acquire a nuclear weapon. According to the first pillar of the NPT, five states only; US, UK, Russia, France, and China, known as the Nuclear Club which possessed nuclear weapons at the time of the NPT inception, are allowed to own nuclear weapons. All other nations are not allowed to own them and agree not to seek or develop them.

It should be clear for any futuristic thinking analyst to realize that such a one-sided international agreement which was welcomed without problem back then would be a timed bomb in days ahead.

In the midst of endless military conflicts, interventionism by nations which consider themselves as more powerful than others, and the inability of the United Nations to promote credible and sustainable peace in a world where the advancement in military arsenal is conceptualized as the sole plinth of national security and superiority, it was predictable that the same nations which supported the NPT back then would question its one-sidedness and fairness in the future and would probably begin to seek the ultimate bomb of their own to protect their own national security.

Back then, when the NPT was introduced in a period where cold war was still intense, many countries did not bother to join it despite its problematic provisions. They did not care about their national security; having nuclear weapons or not was somewhat miniscule, they all belonged to either the U.S or the Soviet Union bloc which both were already nuclear powers.

Today, with the relative disappearance of the cold war on one hand, and people’s self-determination and assertion of their national sovereignty on the other, we can clearly dig out from various speeches and press conferences held by the former Iranian and Libyan leaders, (Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Muammar Ghaddafi), an interrogative undertone: why only them and not us?

No matter what nuclear deal could be agreed upon, if the NPT provisions continue to remain unimplemented and ill-adapted to the new international political landscape, the issue of some nations owning nuclear weapons and not others will be always a bone of contention between nations today and in days to come.   

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