We breakdown the US-Iran nuclear deal by the only way we know how, through clever banter, straight talk, and lyrics from a Taylor Swift summer jam. Alright, the banter isn’t that clever.
While you were livin’ the high-life and making plans, something continued to move around you. What, life? No, American politics! This is ‘The Rundown.’ What is ‘The Rundown’ you ask? Other than a terrific action-comedy starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Stifler from ‘American Pie’, it’s our unique breakdown of major news stories that are currently hitting the political scene. In this edition we talk about the US/Iran nuclear deal.
The Basics of the US/Iran Nuclear Deal
- If there’s an underlining thesis to the US/Iran nuclear deal it’s that this isn’t about blocking Iran from gaining nuclear capabilities, it’s about them not getting a nuclear bomb. All the elements of the deal are in purpose of attaining that one goal. Most people who have been criticizing this deal are forgetting that crucial aspect.
- One of the central issues regarding the deal is the enrichment of uranium, a key component for a nuclear bomb. One of the cornerstones of the deal revolves around Iran giving up 97% of their current enriched uranium stockpiles. In the future if Iran chooses to enrich more uranium, they are only allowed to achieve 3.7% enrichment, which is energy graded uranium. By comparison, for weapons grade uranium you need enrichment to be at least 90%.
- In Iran the number of centrifuges – a facility used in the processing of uranium – will be cut from 20,000 to 5,000. This drastically increases the time that it would take Iran to create a nuclear bomb if they ever decide to break the deal.
- Along with restrictions to uranium enrichment, constant inspections are also a key element in the US/Iran deal. Many nuclear analysts have commented that the inspection process outlined in the deal is one of the strictest in the world. If Iran is to ever break the deal, the international community would know immediately due to the constant inspections.
- For Iran, the biggest aspect of this deal is finally getting those pesky sanctions lifted, which has been crippling their economy for years.
Time for Some Real Talk: Why this Deal Actually Happened
Both Iran and the US will be saying some interesting things, on why this deal has taken place, in the next couple of weeks. But most of those reasons will be bullshit. Here’s why it actually happened.
For the US: The US can’t afford another military conflict in the Middle East. Hell, they can barely afford the conflicts that are taking place now! Take Syria for example. While the US wasn’t necessarily crazy about Bashar al-Assad acting as a dictator in Syria, he did create much needed stability throughout the region. Granted it was through a campaign of human rights abuses ranking Syria to be one of the worst in the world, but in all honesty, the US really didn’t care. To them al-Assad was a reprehensible human being, but one that kept the region fairly quiet. But then, the Arab Spring happened. With it came a civil war in Syria between Assad loyalists and hodgepodge of different factions that the Western media calls “rebels.” To put it frankly, it’s a complete shit show in Syria at the moment and creating one of the biggest humanitarian crises that the world has ever seen. The US can’t afford Iran to dip into chaos like that.
Iran was able to ride out their Arab Spring, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen again. The middle-class is growing in Iran and the sanctions that are currently in place are crippling its economy. If enough people get fed up and want to change the regime, which could cause a situation that would be worse than Syria, considering nuclear weapons would also be part of the equation! This deal is a win-win for the US because it stabilizes Iran (by strengthening its economy through the removal of sanctions) AND gets rid of its nuclear weapons. Whether the US wants to admit it or not, in the case of Iran, it’s better to deal with the devil you know, than the one you don’t.
For Iran: Ideology can only take you so far. The Iranian Revolution happened over 35 years ago. The people that were part of that movement are now dying off. The ones that are becoming members of Iran’ growing middle-class, either don’t remember the revolution or in all honesty, don’t really care. All they know is, Iran becomes more-and-more isolated with each passing year. We like to think of Iranians as people that hold anti-American protests on a daily basis while burning effigies of our leaders, but the truth is they’re just like you and me. They just want an iPhone.
The current deal makes that a reality for Iran. Not only would it open US businesses be able to sell their goods to the Iranians that want them, but Iran would finally be able to take advantage of their large oil reserves creating a much needed economic boost to their country. While the current Iranian leaders will talk about ideology, it’s important to remember they’re just like any other regime in the world. While ideology is nice, they like staying in power more.
‘Cause, Baby, Now We Got Bad Blood
In our greatest Jalen Rose impression, the question of Israel ever being ok with a US/Iran nuclear deal is simple.
Let’s get one thing straight here, Israel was never going to accept any deal that US and Iran made over Iran’s nuclear program. To Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, it was always about the nuclear program itself. Even a benign nuclear Iran is unacceptable to Israel. Yet the problem is, for Israel anyway, the world around them is changing.
From the UN General Assembly recognizing Palestine as a state to the US’ softening rhetoric when it came to Iran, as stated above, this deal was more of an inevitability than a choice. That’s not to say the US and the other Western nations aren’t supportive of Israel, it’s just that they know they can’t keep the Middle-East isolated forever. In the case of Iran, this is a deal that needed to be done.
But for the time being, the US just gotta live with the bad blood now.
An International Trust Fall
Make no mistake, this is a good deal if your goal is not allowing Iran to become a “nuclear state.” Anyone who has a problem with the specific talking points of the deal are just being disingenuous. The provisions that are put in this deal make it impossible for Iran to create a nuclear weapon. The only reason anyone would be against the deal, is if you don’t trust Iran to hold up their end of the bargain. Which in all honesty, would be a legit concern.
No matter what President Obama says, in reality, this entire deal is based on trust.
As long as Iran keeps up their part of the bargain, everything will be copacetic. For countries like Saudi Arabia and Israel, being opposed to this deal makes sense. They wouldn’t trust Iran to take down their lunch order, so you can forget them trusting Iran on nuclear non-proliferation. Also fears of Iran using the influx of cash and funding extremist groups abroad is a real worry. To them it isn’t a question of whether Iran is going to break this deal, it’s a question of how and when.
The Obama administration is going to have to start selling the American people, along with other members of Congress, that Iran will keep their end of the bargain. While I can’t see Congress killing the deal – it would take a 2/3 majority to override President Obama’s inevitable veto on any bill that tries to kill the deal – this still isn’t going to be an easy sell.
After all, it’s a trust fall with an individual you haven’t trusted in years that includes the wrinkle of nuclear weapons. So yeah, no biggie…
(Photo Credits: WhiteHouse.gov, Google Images)