The recent six-month deal with Iran over its nuclear program is a step in the right direction. However, we must caution that this deal needs to be watched very closely. Additionally, the neo-cons in Congress need to just shut-up for once and see where this will lead.
From what I have been able to research, the deal is nothing more than a first step in a long diplomatic process designed to ensure nuclear proliferation stops. There are some aspects of the deal that do require watching though.
In the deal, Iran agrees to stop enriching uranium beyond 5 percent. It has also agreed to neutralize its stockpile of near-20 percent enriched uranium. Further, Iran has committed to halt progress on its enrichment capacity. Iran will also halt work at its plutonium reactor and provide access to nuclear inspectors. All of this needs to be watched closely. Iran has had a history of not complying with inspectors before.
In return, the western powers has agreed to “modest relief” from economic sanctions and access to a portion of the revenue that the country has been denied through these sanctions. They have also agreed not to impose new sanctions. Remember, this deal is not just a deal between the U.S. and Iran. It includes our European allies and Russia! Iran needs to prove themselves to the whole world, not just us.
Yet let us not forget, Iran calls itself an Islamic Republic. Yes, they do hold elections, and in the last election, the population chose a more moderate government. The people of Iran are the ones really hurting over this situation. The economic sanctions have had a devastating impact on Iran’s economy. That is why the people voted for a more moderate government. They want the nonsense to stop as much as we do. But, the Ayatollah still wields final approval and control over the government. It may be a religious dictatorship, but it is still a dictatorship.
History has proven that any form of dictatorship needs to be watched closely. Dictators hold power by repressing the people’s rights and maintaining secrecy in everything they do. Whether that dictatorship was fascist, religious, communist, or whatever. That is why this needs to be verified.
Even with the caution that is needed, I do believe this could be a step that leads to peace rather than war. We need to give this six-month deal a chance to show whether Iran is being forthright in what they are saying, or if it is another obfuscation and delaying tactic on their part.
This means the neo-cons need to shut-up for a while. The first thing they proposed doing after the deal was announced was to add additional sanctions. That alone would kill any chance of this deal working. We face a fundamental question here. Do we want to give diplomacy a chance to neutralize this volatile situation, or do we want to ratchet up the rhetoric and force a war with Iran.
We have just gone through over a decade of wars. The country is tired of war. The people are tired of war. We need to let our servicemen know that we plan to diplomatically end these kinds of situations and ask them to sacrifice their blood only as a last resort. Ronald Reagan said one thing I can agree with: “Trust but verify”! That is what is needed during this process as well.
There are no certainties in life, except maybe death. In six months we may be right back where we were at the beginning. Maybe the deal will fall apart. We may still face another war. However, we may also find that Iran is ready to rejoin the civilized world and stop their bellicose ranting. It just might be possible that we will finalize a deal that ensures no nuclear weapons in Iran and the possibility of peace in the region. A short six months should let us know.