Home Global Village Is it worth the risk? – The American Iran Nuclear Agreement

Is it worth the risk? – The American Iran Nuclear Agreement

Nuclear Agreement
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News Analysis |

Donald Trump has once again rung alarm bells in the international corridors of diplomacy and international relations by remarks regarding the review of the Iran nuclear deal by his self-imposed deadline of May 12th. The American President has been complaining about the 2015 Iran nuclear deal since before he was elected, labeling the agreement as “insane, ridiculous, should never have been made.”

The deal that limited Iran on its nuclear program in return for relief from certain sanctions weighing on its economy, under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), holds Trump responsible to waive sanctions on Iran’s banks and oil sales every four months, with the next deadline on May 12th. At the beginning of 2018, President Trump refused to do so unless the ‘terrible flaws’ of the agreement made by the Obama Administration were fixed.

Donald Trump, who paved his way to the Oval Office through a xenophobic, Muslim-centric campaign had declared the deal “the worst ever” before the presidential polls, with a promise to tear it up.

Although Trump had decertified the nuclear deal in October, last year, the latest deadline would clarify whether the U.S. would keep the pact intact or walk away from it. However, it should be noted that Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the deal would not be as easy as he anticipates, as explained below.

The same concern of hegemony would also stir concerns in Beijing as it is eyeing itself to be the leader of the world, besides an economic giant of Asia. As stated by the German Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas, “We believe it is extremely important to uphold this agreement.

Days before the deadline is set to expire, Emanuel Macron, the French President, has landed in Washington to convince Trump against the demolition of the deal. His visit is going to be followed by Angela Merkel, the German Vice Chancellor, who is be on the same mission, to calm down Donald Trump; a man known to function under impulsive anger.

Besides the international players, who brokered the Iran deal, two of the countries – Russia and China – will make it virtually impossible for Trump to scrap the deal. The Foreign Minister of Russia and China on Monday agreed to obstruct any attempts by U.S. President Donald Trump to “sabotage” Iran’s nuclear deal.

Read more: US lawmakers aim to tighten terms of Iran nuclear deal

Both the countries cited that the dumping of the nuclear pact would virtually end years of international work carried out between the six major powers and Iran. With this in mind, both countries are asking UN member states to back a draft statement expressing ‘unwavering support’ for the Iran nuclear deal, putting pressure on President Donald Trump not to withdraw from it.

The intervention of Russia and China in the Iran-US nuclear tiff is of prominence because both the countries have decisive Trump cards that would shackle the U.S. President.

Donald Trump, who paved his way to the Oval Office through a xenophobic, Muslim-centric campaign had declared the deal “the worst ever” before the presidential polls, with a promise to tear it up.

China is already engaged in a trade war with the United States and its trade surplus with the U.S. has increased by a fifth in the first three months of 2018. Statistically, China’s surplus with the US swelled by 19.4 percent on-year to $58 billion between January and March. This upper hand in economic supremacy prompted Trump to threaten China with a series of tariffs.

With this taken into consideration,  China is capable of blocking Trump in his Iran’s bid, due to one of the clauses of the deal, concerning Trump as explained in the following paragraph.

Read more: Iran nuclear deal on ‘life support’

As Donald Trump is wary of the prospects of Iran after the expiry of the deal in 2025, China would eye to keep the deal in place because in years after 2025, China would virtually be winning over the U.S. and would like to strike a deal under its own terms, instead of the U.S.-dominated pact. China is, also, strengthening its relationship with  Iran after the latter enlisted its help for the development of Chabahar port.

Moreover, Russia is also in a comfortable position to compel Trump to remain in the agreement. The Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated that Trump’s actions “… have nothing to do with diplomacy. It’s an attempt to enforce its own interests while completely ignoring the interests of others,” which goes on to show how much Russia disapproves of the withdrawal of the agreement.

Vladimir Putin, the Russian President, can keep the United States engaged in the Syrian war by prompting his ally Bashar al Assad to intensify the air strikes. Another string that Russia can pull, under the wraps, is the alleged videotape of Donald Trump, in which he was caught with the prostitutes at a Moscow hotel, though not diplomatic, it can take a toll on Trump’s position.

The deal that limited Iran on its nuclear program in return for relief from certain sanctions weighing on its economy, under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), holds Trump responsible to waive sanctions on Iran’s banks and oil sales every four months, with the next deadline on May 12th.

Though no credible evidence is available to substantiate whether Moscow is in possession of the tape or not, James Comey, former Federal Bureau of Investigation Director, alluded to the tape, while mentioning his interactions with Donald Trump. Therefore, besides France and Germany, Russia and China are also at a position of strength and can use their cards to cajole Donald Trump.

Russia, would also like to keep Iran’s nuclear deal unharmed to restrain the United States from hegemony in the region. Moreover, with the latest success of Donald Trump in negotiations with Kim Jong Un, the North Korean leader, Russia would definitely not desire to see the United States having an upper hand in the Asian region as well.

Read more: Putin promises Tehran of support if US-Iran nuclear deal is scrapped…

The same concern of hegemony would also stir concerns in Beijing as it is eyeing itself to be the leader of the world, besides an economic giant of Asia. As stated by the German Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas, “We believe it is extremely important to uphold this agreement.

Were it to fail… we could not have anything comparable to it and we fear that he situation would significantly deteriorate with everything that goes with it,” Trump should take in to consideration that withdrawal of the agreement will not only have economic consequences, but it will, also, strain bilateral ties. Before going further with his decisions, the American President needs to ask himself; is it worth the risk?


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