BY JEREMY HALLOWANGER, CONTRIBUTING WRITER
In the next few days, President Trump is likely to bring a close to the Iran Nuclear Deal (IND). He has until Oct. 15 to re-certify that Iran is still honoring its commitment made in July 2015, when the Middle-Eastern country agreed not to obtain nuclear weapons. After that, congress will have 60 days to debate what’s next: Either to replace the sanctions against Iran that IND set down in 2015, or negotiate an agreement deemed more favorable.
We know that Trump certainly has no love for the IND; he has described it as an embarrassment and the worst deal ever negotiated. Conservative backers critique the fact that the current agreement does nothing to limit ballistic missile development or condemn Iran for supporting Hamas and Hezbollah (both considered terrorist groups).
However, according to the “Washington Post,” Republicans like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are not eager to add even more to the legislative calendar. His party has already struggled to pass a single major piece of legislation in 2017.
The deal struck in 2015, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, France, China and Germany, curbed Iran’s usage of Plutonium and Uranium, two critical ingredients in atomic weaponry. So far, Iran has been complying with the deal, putting an end to their nuclear usage. Certain sanctions and penalties were then lifted from Iran, and this opened it up to the appeal of international business.
In an interview for “USA Today,” Hassan Hakimian, director of the London Middle East Institute said European countries have been lining up like mad to trade with Iran. If the United States takes action that slows the investments pouring into Iran, Euro-governments would antagonize U.S. allies who could then retaliate with trade restrictions on American firms.
Not only could scrapping this deal result in heavy economic impacts, but European leaders are quite concerned about the world’s safety. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov weighed in to “New York Times” reporters, “It is very important to preserve it in its current form, and of course the participation of the United States will be a very significant factor in this regard.”
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said last month that he will not reopen the agreement for negotiation. Iran could later reopen their usage of atomic weapons if the IND falls through. One thing is for certain: the fate of the IND will cause a ripple effect felt around the world, and American decision-makers will need to find a way to hold it all together.
This article first appeared in the Friday, October 13, 2017, Edition of The Echo.