If you have kept an eye on major geopolitical events over the past three or four years, you’ve no doubt seen the Iran Nuclear Deal dominate many headlines. The Iran Nuclear Deal was formerly known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action and it was set in place during the Obama Administration. The goal of the Iran Nuclear Deal was to push Iran to abandon and decommission a vast array of enrichment centrifuges throughout the country while promising to not build any more for roughly 15 years. With the election of President Trump during the 2016 Presidential Race, the Iran Nuclear Deal was put under significant pressure. President Trump touted a promise to withdraw the United States from the historic agreement and there has been chaos ever since. Let’s take a general look at the Iran Nuclear Deal so that you can walk away with an understanding of what is at stake.
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was set in place between Iran as well as the P5+1, five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council. The deal was rigorously negotiated before an agreement was reached with Iran in Vienna back in 2015. Blowback from the deal was felt almost immediately from conservative voices throughout the United States, including then Presidential Candidate, Mr. Donald Trump. Critics of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action argued that the deal was largely unenforceable and that Iran would be quick to renege on their half of the bargain, thus emboldening the country to push for nuclearization while simultaneously seeing their own economic sanctions reduced.
The terms of the Iran Nuclear Deal have been covered extensively by Middle East expert Amir Handjani. His work can be found on Reuters, POLITICO, and Bloomberg News among other sources. For a more general overview of the agreement, you can keep on reading. Outside of the components that we listed above, the Iran Nuclear Deal also pushed Iran to limit its enriched uranium stockpile to just 3.7%, a far cry from the 90% needed to produce a nuclear weapon. Additionally, Iran would be forced to modify their reactors to prevent the production of weapons-grade plutonium. To finalize the deal, Iran would also agree to routine and comprehensive inspections to maintain compliance.
Upon being elected to the Presidency, Donald Trump vowed to withdraw the United States from the agreement. Since making his initial announcement, the Iran Nuclear Deal has been in jeopardy with the vast majority of the groups still wishing to remain in the agreement. As a result, the E.U. has been forced to navigate the turbulent waters of an unofficial agreement with vitriol being aimed at them by the White House. Despite Iran’s continued commitment to the deal, President Trump and his Administration have been consistently pressuring the members of the agreement – China, the U.K., France, Russia, Germany, and the U.S. – to realign for a ‘Trump Deal’. With tensions sky-high, it remains to be seen how this will all play out. With any luck, for the good of the world, an agreement will eventually be locked in place.