The Iranian DEAL

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November 26, 2013

The DEAL has been struck. After a decade of tension between Iran and the West over Iran’s nuclear ambitions, a deal of sorts has been reached and now we will wait and see if it ends up being good for the world, or not. 

 What’s the Deal?

Basically, Iran has agreed to limit its nuclear program and in exchange, sanctions against them will be lessened – a deal worth about 7 billion for Iran in the next six months. So, Iran gains relief from the crippling sanctions, but doesn’t really have to do anything. They just have to promise to halt the process for the next six months. Just think of that for a minute: a six month agreement. Gone are the days when conflicts had out and out winners and losers. No more long-lasting peace treaties, truces or even effective cease-fires. We live in an age of limited-time peace agreements and this one is for six months. That’s shorter than my cell phone contract. 

Most Iranians are ecstatic about the deal. The Israelis are livid about it because it does not dismantle Iran’s existing nuclear enrichment infrastructure. The Canadians are going to keep their sanctions in place. The deal has to be approved by the US Congress and there are many who are pushing back against it. And to be sure, Obama’s struggle with his health care initiative isn’t helping his domestic support. 

Things to think about:

  1. Even during the negotiations in Geneva, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, described Israeli officials by saying they: “cannot be even called humans,” and referred to Netanyahu as “the rabid dog of the region.” In this part of the world, some consider this to be meaningless rhetoric. Israel doesn’t think so. Most people don’t like it when their existence is threatened. And Israeli prime minister, Netanyahu deeply distrusts Iran and calls the deal a “historic mistake.” 
  2. Under the deal, Iran will not be able to make nuclear weapons. They can continue to enrich uranium to the level of 5% – which is way below what is necessary for producing a weapon. But it’s also worth noting that this only delays the possibility of creating a weapon – it doesn’t eliminate the possibility. And some people are very good at waiting for the right moment – especially in a world that is changing quickly. But Iran, more than anything right now, needs relief from the crushing sanctions they’ve endured. 
  3. Would it be so bad if Iran actually gained nuclear weapons? Other nations have nuclear weapons and certainly the US, Russia and China have been able to contain each other. But Iran is not Russia. The motivations and worldviews are distinctly different. While, it might not be the general view of every Iranian citizens, the view of Iran’s leaders are largely influenced by their religious worldview – which includes the hope of global Islamic domination and the destruction of Israel. Not to mention that fact that Iran going nuclear would most likely trigger a nuclear arms race that would include Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Turkey. 
  4. Israel is becoming more isolated and the fraying of the relationship between the US and Israel is playing out more publicly than ever. Israel has publicly said that they might need to seek other allies. If the US and Israel were Facebook friends, Israel would “unfriend” the US. Those who follow Biblical or Islamic prophecy about how events will play out in the last days are paying closer attention. 
  5. President Obama is touting the deal as a great step towards global peace. It’s a new world where, seemingly, diplomatically allowing your enemies to get their way is now viewed as a victory. Is it a good deal? Hmmm, everyone will see what he wants to see. And in time, we will all see how it works out. Anyone remember North Korea?

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