If there’s one event of the 20th century I’m glad I didn’t have to live through, it would definitely be the Cold War. The idea of bomb shelters being a necessity in daily life due to the constant threat of a nuclear attack is definitely something that would have scarred me for life, and I honestly have taken it for granted that nuclear weapons are closer to a fairy tale than a reality as part of my middle-class American life. It should come as no surprise, then, that I am very excited about the possibility of Iran closing a deal with the U.S., Russia and other world powers that will hopefully prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power in the foreseeable future.
Now, before you get too excited and jump to conclusions, remember that what has been agreed upon is only a framework and not necessarily a sign that the deal is done. Iran has understandably been very careful during negotiations and has demanded that any deal include the rolling back of economic sanctions from the U.S. and other countries. Of course, these sanctions basically take any leverage away from Iran, because the United Nations has been quite clear in its opposition to the idea of an Iranian nuclear program.
Unsurprisingly, the negotiations between the U.S. and Iran have led to disagreement within Congress as to who would have a say in a deal. Many members of Congress, seemingly always distrustful of the executive branch, demanded that they have a final vote on the Iran agreement. This vote is basically just for show since President Obama would obviously veto any rejection of a deal, but even so it has to be considered a tiny victory for Republicans, who can now claim that they united with the president in these negotiations. To me, this reeks of political posturing as a way to bolster Republican chances of winning the presidency in the 2016 election, but as long as this does not impede a deal, then I guess the best way to look at it is “no harm, no foul.”
So, where do the negotiations currently stand? According to Iran’s foreign minister, Javad Zarif, the talks will resume April 21, which will hopefully provide enough time to complete them by the target date of June 30. There are still disagreements between Iran and the U.S. regarding the rate of lifting sanctions and some technicalities about Iran’s nuclear power plants, but I remain hopeful that a deal will finally get done.
As Americans, we should all be supportive of any deal that attempts to limit the spread of nuclear arms, as a new era of fear is the last thing any of us should want.