By Ariana Habibi
For months, the world has been caught in a standstill as Iran and the United States of America have been in negotiations regarding the Iranian nuclear deal.
While the two countries have been in talks about a potential agreement being formed for nearly twenty months, no official progress was made until the signing of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231 on July 20. However, the issue has come to light again with the 2016 Presidential Election, as well as revisions and additions being made to the resolution.
Under the resolution, Iran would be allowed to retain its nuclear facilities, but they would be subject to strict production limits. It also bans the use of more recent technology, so while the Iranians have won the right to research, they cannot use more modern means of production for the next 10 years. Still, it does not fully prevent the nation from acquiring nuclear weapons.
“The current deal allows for Iran to have a nuclear weapon in under a decade,” said sophomore Matthew O’Cadiz.
Another aspect of the deal is that it paves the plan for the lifting of United Nations restrictions on the country.
“The removal of economic sanctions is especially beneficial to the Iranian people,” said sophomore Pasha McGuigan. “A stronger economy will allow for more jobs, more spending, and eventually a stronger military.”
These economic limitations have greatly reduced Iran’s sale of oil and impeded access to the international financial system, thus weakening the Iranian economy severely. The sanctions were put in place after the Iranian Hostage Crisis of 1979, in which fifty-two American citizens and diplomats were held hostage for 444 days in the U.S. Embassy. Despite having occurred nearly three decades ago, the event has altered the way in which the world views Iran.
“Iran has a history of not being an ally to the U.S.” said sophomore Matthew O’Cadiz. “The diplomats negotiating this deal shouldn’t forget that.”
Additionally, many presidential candidate hopefuls, including the majority of the potential Republican ballot, have made their views opposing the negotiations very clear.
“The deal does not create peace,” said Jim Gilmore at a rally against the Iran nuclear deal, “it only postpones war. Now President Obama says we have no choice.” He elaborated, “Well if we have no choice, it’s because he’s negotiated us into a no choice position.”
Another concern conservatives have with the nuclear deal is the threat it poses to Israel.
Ever since the country has been formed, it has faced violence and threats from its Islamic neighbors. Through the eyes of Republican politicians, allowing for one of these neighbors to acquire a nuclear weapon would guarantee the destruction of Israel.
“Not only is Iran an enemy to the United States, but it is also an enemy to Israel,” O’Cadiz opposed, “it is our responsibility to protect our current allies, rather than risk their safety in favor of an unreliable alternative.”
Nevertheless, the views of these politicians contrast those of some Stuart students.
“I think it’s good that the United States is working to communicate and negotiate with Iran,” McGuigan stated. “Diplomatic relations will result in much better outcomes compared to making rash decisions.”
“Overall, the Iran deal is monumental in the sense that Obama has managed to have some kind of agreement with the Middle East regarding nuclear weapons.” said sophomore Matthew Hua.
Some teachers also are in support of the Iranian nuclear deal.
“It’s about time America and Iran have had a relationship,” said history teacher Matthew Levi. “It’s silly and immature to demonize countries.”
Whereas other students have found themselves opposing the deal and supporting the Republican politicians.
There has also been much debate concerning the authenticity of the Republican opposition to the deal, particularly the motives the politicians have regarding their viewpoints and stance on the issue.
“They are trying to rev-up their fear based supporters,” Levi noted, speaking of a political technique called pandering.
This technique revolves around expressing one’s views in accordance with the likes of a group to which one is attempting to appeal. In pandering, the views expressed do not necessarily reflect one’s personal views, but instead are aimed to gain support for the politician. Essentially, it is a reaction of panic in elected officials who must either tailor their views to public opinion or risk losing their existing or potential seat.
“There are a lot of people that are afraid of this boogeyman they call Iran, and Cuba and North Korea and others,” began Levi. “and for a long time it was Iraq who was the boogeyman and people got very scared and eventually went to war with them.”
This issue of dishonest politicians remains important, especially as the 2016 Presidential Election nears. However, different members of the Stuart community have different views regarding the relevance and the level of impact the deal will have on the election itself.
“It’ll sort out the wheat from the chaff, so as to say the good from the bad candidates.” said sophomore Jessica Sharp. “The presidential candidates will have pretty different opinions on it.”
Other students believe that, the issue itself is not as important as the candidates’ willingness to make their stance and opinion on it clear.
“If any candidate were to mention it in the 2016 race,” said Hua, “they would have to have good reasoning as to why it was a mistake and point out specific flaws.”
“The candidates shouldn’t forget the U.S.’ history with Iran as election season nears,” said O’Cadiz, “and neither should the government officials as they negotiate the deal.”
If a final deal and consensus is reached, however, it could alter America’s relationship with a nation that has been an adversary for thirty-six years, and would define the foreign policy legacy of President Obama, as well as the president to come.