Daily Local News (West Chester, PA)

Why Iran can’t be trusted

- -- Sarah Guan is a West Chester East ninth grade student

A punch in the gut. A stab in the back. That’s what it was for the United States (U.S.) when ten members of its navy were recently captured and detained at an Iranian island base, just days before a nuclear deal agreement between the two countries was scheduled to go into action. After having mistakenly entered Iranian waters, the sailors were held for sixteen hours before being released. This act of aggression is only the latest in a long list of Iranian hostilitie­s towards the U.S. It highlights the need for the U.S.’ government to reevaluate its impending open trade relationsh­ip with Iran, especially in the wake of a nuclear deal so monumental that it could change the tide of world history, but not in a good way.

So what is the Iran nuclear deal? In short, Iran has agreed to reduce most, but not all of its uranium stockpiles, centrifuge­s, and other resources used to synthesize nuclear weapons in exchange for the removal of economic sanctions by six of the world’s leading powers. Anyone who’s done their research can see instantly that this deal, one that Iran is not even guaranteed to comply with, is a complete and utter failure.

Iran is essentiall­y being handed a check signed by the United States to spend over 150 billion on whatever it desires. Currently, Iran sits atop the fourth largest oil and natural gas reserves in the world. Once sanctions are lifted, it will have access to 100 billion dollars from its frozen accounts overseas and inevitably more once internatio­nal trade commences.

Iran’s first plan of action once receiving these colossal sums of money will be to arm terrorist groups in the Middle East. Since the 1980s, the Shiite dominated country has been an avid supporter of Hezbollah, Hamas, and terrorists in Afghanista­n through financial backing, training, weapons, and sanctuary. In 2011, the U.S. issued a statement saying that it considered Iran to be the world’s “most active state sponsor of terrorism.” The assets Iran will receive, from the United States nonetheles­s, will go towards funding terrorist groups whose fundamenta­l beliefs directly contradict everything America stands for.

Historical­ly speaking, this sequence of events is not unpreceden­ted. At one point, future members of Al Qaeda received financial backing from the U.S. during the Russian invasion of Afghanista­n. Later, they used that money and training to stab us in the back and eventually commit the terror attacks on September 11th, 2001. There are lessons to be learned. Much like Al Qaeda, every asset that subsequent­ly flows into Iran makes them that much closer to becoming an internatio­nal threat the world will not be able to handle.

Others might be questionin­g why Iran would be a threat to those of us living in the western hemisphere. The answer to that, like most other Middle Eastern conflicts, starts with Israel. Iranian leader Ayatollah Khamenei referred to Israel as a cancerous tumor that “must be uprooted from the region” and stated that the “perpetual subject of Iran is the eliminatio­n of Israel.” It is no secret that the single-most im- portant goal of the Iranian people is to eradicate the Jewish State completely. Its first course of action: cutting off all Israel’s outside resources.

The United States is Israel’s primary supporter: monetarily, militarily and diplomatic­ally. Over 25% of the U.S. Foreign Military financing goes directly to Israel’s department of defense. A former Israeli defense force commander even stated that “U.S. taxpayers have contribute­d more to the Israeli defense budget than Israeli taxpayers.” If left unchecked, Iran will utilize its dramatic increase in budget to support terrorist groups, providing them with the opportunit­ies and means to weaken the U.S., Israel’s main sponsor.

Simply put: Iran can’t be trusted. The U.S. can’t be so hasty to begin opening trade with the Middle Eastern nation. The removal of sanctions must be curtailed, if not entirely postponed until Iran no is longer affiliated with any terrorist organizati­ons. If there’s anything to be learned from the recent incident of the U.S. Navy members being imprisoned, it’s that Iran still sees us as a threat needed to be eliminated. If large amounts of money are turned over to Iran at such an expeditiou­s rate, it will only be matter of time until another September 11th style attack occurs on American soil. We will be an internatio­nal force just waiting to be stabbed in the back and punched in the gut. Again. But this time we may not recover.

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