The Iranian nuclear deal has been in the news for the past few weeks with opinions ranging from hope to dismay at the proceedings. After a group of Republican congressmen wrote a letter to Iranian officials about the deal, it hasn’t strayed far from the front pages. This was only furthered when Tom Cotton, the junior senator from Arkansas, said that it would only take a few days to bomb Iran into submission, ignoring the fact that doing so would result in the country’s nuclear ambitions going even deeper underground and away from monitoring. Now, possibly though not necessarily due to these diplomatic blunders, the Iranian President has demanded that all sanctions be dropped right after the signing of any agreement regarding Iran’s nuclear ambitions and future.
The sanctions have always been a sticking point in the nuclear deal and the agreement has always been that they would go away. What was up for discussion was just how fast they would be repealed after the signing of the agreement. While Hassan Rouhani, the Iranian President, had always demanded the sanctions (which has smashed the Iranian economy and shuttered its oil exportation) be dropped immediately, it seems as though he had been willing to negotiate over the actual speed. Now it seems as though he’s buckling down, possibly due to the influence of Iranian hardliners, and says that no deal will be signed unless the sanctions are dropped immediately. This puts the entire deal in peril due to the unwillingness of the other countries to do so for a variety of reasons.
The end date for negotiations is June 30th and as negotiations between Iran and the 6 powers (the USA, China, Russia, Britain, Germany, and France) seem like they’re growing more fragile, there’s an extra impetuous to finish the job. The US and its EU allies want to see the sanctions dropped incrementally as Iran meets certain obligations in the nuclear deal. The US and its allies want to use the dropping of sanctions like the proverbial carrot, a prize for each time Iran completes a certain part of the deal. However if neither side is willing to budge, the reality is that there might be no nuclear deal at all and we will be in the same situation we were a few months ago.
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