International Experts: Trump Abandoning Iran Nuclear Deal Will Be a Disaster
In-coming President Donald Trump has called the nuclear accords with Iran the worst deal “ever”, and that tearing it up would be his number one priority. So far, however, there have been no clear indications as to whether Trump will actually seek to undo the accords once in office. While Trump may be uncertain, many international authorities are warning that any efforts to undo the deal would do more harm than good, and Iran itself has warned the United States that the agreement is binding and not subject to renegotiation.
Hans Blix, of the International Atomic Energy Agency, has claimed that Trump tossing the deal aside would be “disastrous” for the world. If Trump were to back away from the deal, Iran could resume its alleged efforts to research nuclear weapons technology. Iran has denied accusations that it has previously tried to research nuclear weapons technology, claiming such efforts to be against Islam. Many experts, however, believe that Iran was conducting clandestine nuclear weapons research.
British Prime Minister Theresa May has also come out in defense of the Nuclear accords. While visiting with Gulf-region leaders last week, May acknowledged concerns over easing sanctions, but also stressed that the deal was vital to regional security. May claims, in line with most other world experts, that the current nuclear accords will prevent Iran from pursuing nuclear weapons for at least a decade.
A nuclear armed Iran would represent a grave threat to Saudi Arabia and other Arab powers. Add in complications over the Sunni-Shia divide, with Iran being a Persian-Shia power, and Saudi Arabia being an Arab-Sunni power, and regional complications are intense, to say the least. A nuclear armed Iran could kick off a weapons race in the Middle East, and possibly draw preventative strikes from Israel. At the very least, an already tense situation would grow worse.
Abandoning Agreement Would Make It Easier For Iran to Pursue Weapons
Some assert that Iran is still trying to develop nuclear weapons, however, the nuclear accords signed between Iran and the P5 +1 (UN Security Council + Germany) give international inspectors considerable latitude in conducting inspections. Further, the limitations stipulated in the international agreement make it difficult, if not outright impossible, for Iran to obtain nuclear weapons grade materials from its nuclear energy efforts.
That doesn’t mean that Iran can’t pursue weapons clandestinely, but with inspectors on the ground and nuclear energy facilities under supervision, it will be more difficult for the country to do so. If the deal is torn up, inspectors could quickly be kicked out of the country, and Iran would be able to use its nuclear facilities as it pleases.
Worse yet, it’s highly unlikely that either China or Russia would agree to resume sanctions. Neither country showed much stomach for extending sanctions during the last round of negotiations. Many also believe that Russia and China were actively pushing for an agreement, and threatening to abandon sanctions if the United States dragged its feet.
With Europe’s economy struggling, it’s also possible that European leaders too would decline to reinstall sanctions. Iran’s energy exports are helping keep energy costs low across the world. If oil or natural gas prices were to increase, it’d be a pinch on already thrifty European consumers.