Obama’s predicament: Closing the nuclear deal, a different way
The Issue Iran’s involvement in the nuclear armament dates back to 1967 when they first began operations of nuclear reactor, then called the Tehran Research Reactor (TRR), a five megawatt reactor which operated on enriched uranium. The technology was supplied by the then “friendly” US. Iran then ratified the Non Proliferation treaty in 1970, still “holding hands” with the United States. However, relationship became too sour in 1974, when Shah Reza Pahlavi announced Iran's plans to construct 23 nuclear power plants followed by a full nuclear fuel cycle. This was followed by the Iranian revolution and then the seizure of the U.S embassy in Tehran which severed their ties. Shocked by the sudden political twist, the US Department of State added Iran to its list of state sponsors of terrorism, and then imposed economic and trade sanctions on Iran. Strong actions resulted in strong political dialogue, accusations and reactions in Washington and in Tehran. Iran, however continued to build up their nuclear arsenal and further acquired technical schematics for building a P1, research advancements of Tehran Reactor, and continued building their nuclear facilities. Washington then reacted by establishing Iraq Iran Arms Non-proliferation Act of 1992, prohibiting Iraq from further arming Iran into a nuclear power. The economic sanctions by now had crippled Iran’s economy. The International Atomic Energy Agency called Iran to suspend all enrichment of uranium; Iran agreed to meet the deadlines set by the IAEA which failed, further escalating the conflict. Then again in 2005, Iran escalated the tensions by agreeing to supply Russia with spent nuclear fuel. Situation became tense when Iran uranium hexafluoride, which severed their relationship with France, Germany, and the UK. From 2005, P5+1 made multiple attempts to create a dialogue session in an effort to resolve the conflict with Iran, which however, could not resolve the conflict. This was a multi-dimensional issue, with Iran threatening global peace on one end, it was also Tehran’s anger over West relations with Israel. Israel did not ratify the Non Proliferation Treaty and was (continues to do even today) was politically free to even speak on Nuclear. After the negotiations with P5+1, the world became certain of Iran’s giving up its ambitions. Throughout the talks and agreements which took place in Geneva, Vienna, the general framework of Iran Nuclear Deal was created. The deal stated that Iran would agree to limit their nuclear program and put a ban on its military exports in exchange, the US will remove sanctions and friends, will be friends again. As of today, the deal has been signed but the diplomacy between the two, is far from over. Many still believe, Iran will would again as it remained dissatisfied with the deal. The Debate Liberal View The liberals supported President Obama, they backed Washington’s deal with Iran. Liberal’s viewed this as “the best way to stop” Iran’s nuclear programme, and keep the country free from nuclear disarmament. The liberals sought this as a project, “in its infancy” but a power play against those nations who tend to walk on the path Iran did; as the deal did reduce arms embargo in Iran. On the contrary, democrats hoped for a better solution as the “armour had flaws too many”. Conservative View Conservatives heavily opposed Obama administration. Republicans considered this deal as an appeasement for Iran which could allow the nation to obtain nuclear weapons in the future. Conservatives wanted the release of all American hostages in Iran; or recognition of Israel in return for removal of sanctions. Republicans viewed this as a pact between two “friendly” nations, not a deal, thus, when Obama administration ends, the new president might reinstate the sanctions imposed on Iran. Washington’s Views The president and his administration is the brain behind the deal with Iran, his strong support and determination, made it possible. Obama always spoke about a “strong deal with Iran” in many of his speeches, especially when he mentioned this deal, in his first ran for president. He clearly stated that the deal was designed to stop Iran’s nuclear programme, and he continues to believe that it will do. Despite many experts criticising the deal, Obama vowed to veto any bill that may stop it and lobbied republicans to support him. Previous Legislations Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 Initially, the legislation was an amendment of “Atomic Energy Act of 1946” which was again amended in 1954 and later became “Atomic Energy Act of 1954”. The legislation began as a fundamental law on military and civilian use of nuclear materials. It also dictated the goals of military and civilian use of weapons. Throughout the years, the act has been amended. It was again amended in 2015, which got its title “Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015”, which was sent by president’s administration first to the congress for review which took place on three main parameters. These parameters included the ability of the Secretary of State to verify Iran’s cooperation with the deal, the level of safeguards and the fact that Iran would comply on it, followed by the level of inspections laid out in the deal and the ability of international organizations follow it. A special interest in America American Israel Public Affairs Committee The group is a main lobby of Israelis in the US. It has gained a large influence throughout the years. It works effectively in strengthening Israel’s relationship with the U.S. The lobby strongly opposed the Nuclear deal, stating that it would set meagrely stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons for a few years, and possess a grave threat to Israel’s security. The group discussed the issue with many lawmakers and spent millions on advocacy against the deal. Proposed Solutions The Congress could have forced Obama to review the full deal This could have been one solution and Obama administration could have enjoyed support from the Republicans without a fight, along with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. This could have cleared the air from doubts many had on “secret deal with Iran” followed by the standard operating procedure of international agencies involved. Congress would have then successfully passed the bill. Supermajority in congress would have given a clear victory signs for Obama administration for his efforts which he has been advocating. This would definitely increase his popularity within the republicans and few democrats who talked about the flaws. Allow the deal to go through with a bill of approval Many democrats would have happily supported it, if the Obama administration would have waited for the bill to approve, but the process itself would have proven a biggest challenge. This solution would have made it easily for congress to approve. However, it would have been fought hard by republicans and the Obama administration would have difficulty in time passing. Some democrats would have rejected the bill, questioning Washington’s polices and competency, however, some may have accepted it. The bill would have increased controversy, and would have compromised Obama administration to put in full force of actions. He would, however, win hearts and then votes, through this solution. Vote against any bills of disapproval This was an easy solution for Obama administration and for the democrats to support the bill. Since it was a deal, it would not require an actual congressional approval. Democrats would only have to vote against any bills of disapproval. If they did pass, Obama would have then vetoed the bill and the Democrats would have then need a supermajority to override the bill. This would only hurt the public image of the deal as it would be seen as “not approved by congress”.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]It was on August 6th, 1945, when the curtains of World War II fell, and so for the lives of millions when allied powers dropped the very first atomic bomb. The first bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan. The intensity of the blast wiped out first 95% of the entire population, within seconds exposing tens of thousands to nuclear radiation. Thus, the world witnessed the horrors of the atomic bomb. Shortly after, the nuclear race between Russia and the US began; leading nations such as China, France, and the UK in building their arsenal. This brought the rise of nuclear weapons and so began the first nuclear diplomacy, which resulted in establishment of Nuclear Proliferation Treaty. This treaty, subscribed to 190 countries, clearly states the “nation’s declaration of peaceful use of energy” and is viewed as an effective method towards international cooperation to curb further nuclear expansion, by some. Moreover, the State Department this bargain as “Countries with nuclear weapons will move towards disarmament; countries without nuclear weapons will not acquire them; and all countries can access peaceful nuclear technology.” However, after signing of the peace agreement, both the nations “hope” to continue this relationship. Yet, the nuclear proliferations continue to become a huge stress on the international arena. The allegations which stated Iran producing nuclear rich uranium (a key component in nuclear fission material) has not faded away from the memories of many. The agitation between the two made difficult for the global world to react. Although, this was a clear violation of Non Proliferation Treaty, sparking over a series of debate on what should be done and what should policy makers do in this accord.