Trump shouldn’t have pulled out of Iranian Nuclear Deal.
Editor’s note: The following Opinion column was one of three essays selected for publication from students in World Cultures classes taught by Brian Busby, West Chester East High School.
In 2015, President Obama and the leaders of the European Union (EU) made an agreement with Iran to prevent them from making nuclear weapons; This was called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). This deal was implemented because previously, Iran was enriching large amounts of plutonium and U-235, both which are used for making nuclear weapons.
Iran was stockpiling these elements and the other equipment needed for making nuclear weapons, in addition to building large nuclear facilities near military complexes. Once the JCPOA came into effect, it forced Iran to give up 98 percent of its nuclear stockpile, asserting that its stockpile cannot exceed 6,600 pounds. The plan also calls for routine inspection of its nuclear facilities, and puts a ban on Iran from producing U-235 and plutonium.
In May 2018, President Donald Trump pulled out of the deal, therefore significantly weakening the international backing of the deal and making it less effective.
The US was enforcing these regulations the most, and the routine inspection of these facilities and enforcement of the stockpile limit stopped when the deal ceased. Trump pulled out of the JCPOA without a replacement plan, as he thought he could pressure Iran with tariffs like he pressured North Korea. North Korea was willing to negotiate, but the Iranian government had already negotiated, and they are not willing to renegotiate.
The EU has always believed that Iran has been following all the regulations that were in place and that there was no need to change the JCPOA. The continuous trade has been strengthening both the Iranian economy as well as the economy of the EU. Meanwhile, the US was putting extremely harsh tariffs on the Iranians, therefore punishing the Iranians for following the regulations, which in turn was destroying the Iranian economy because they could not pay the trade fees. Iran finally spoke up about their unfair treatment and in August filed a law suit with the United Nations (UN) against the US.
The UN agreed with the Iranians, stating that the US is unfairly punishing Iran and ordered the US to lift the recent tariffs they placed on them. The UN has also banned the US from adding any additional tariffs on Iran in the future.
Furthermore, Trump told the EU that if any of their countries traded with Iran, that the US would place tariffs on their goods.
This has put unneeded strain on our relationship with Europe and in turn has reduced our global footprint, which will make us a smaller player on the global stage in the future.
Since the JCPOA went into effect, Iran is using the money that was once funding its nuclear program as funding for medical research and nuclear science. Iran has also developed a space agency over the last few years, and since 2016 the agency has gotten an increase in funding, and they are now successfully launching satellites into orbit.
Iran is now becoming a player in the modern day space race. Under the Iranian Nuclear deal, the US was supposed to routinely inspect the facilities of the Iranian space agency, because a space-fairing nation has the ability to launch ballistic missiles.
The deal allowed Iran to continue their space programs, while being monitored for nuclear regulations. While Iran is still saying that they are following their regulations, without the US in the deal, there is no one to monitor Iran’s facilities to make sure that they are indeed following the regulations that were put in place.
Pulling out of the Iranian Nuclear deal was a bad decision because it has done nothing but make Iran more unstable in an already unstable Middle East.
President Trump has mentioned numerous times that pulling out of the JCPOA was a campaign promise and that in doing so, he is undoing Obamaera treaties and trade deals for the betterment of the country.
However, it seems as though this is one-sided deal for his needs and not actually for the betterment of the US or the world. Now we are left with a trade struggle with the EU, an Iranian economy on the verge of crumbling again, a lower place on the UN stage, and nuclear facilities left without inspection in Iran.
What the US pull-out of the JCPOA is doing is setting up a scenario that could leave the US and Iran on the brink of war again.