Analysis of the Nuclear Deal

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The commonly known Iran nuclear deal is basically referred to as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). It is an international agreement on the Iranian nuclear program that was reached in Vienna in 2015, July 14th [1]. The agreement was and is still between Iran, China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States and the P5 + 1 (five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, plus the European Union and Germany. The primary objective of the agreement was to ensure nuclear non-proliferation [2].

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The development of nuclear technology in Iran began in the early 1970s following the assistance that Iran received from U.S through the Atoms for Peace program [3]. Despite this development, Iran signed a treaty on non-proliferation of the nuclear weapons and clearly affirmed to be a nuclear-free state. However, in 1979, there was a rapid revolution in Iran in regard to nuclear technology and in fact the same country went into a costly war with Iraq as from 1980 until late 1988 [4]. This was motivated and propelled by the nuclear program which was restarted in 1980s in Iran. The program was accepted by a number of countries which entered into agreement with Iran. These included: China, Pakistan and Russia. The United States was a nonpartisan on the agreements made [5]. Her intelligence agencies later began suspecting that Iran was using her indigenous nuclear program to cover up the underlying manufacture of nuclear weapons. This was a contrast of the claim that Iran used to ascertain that her nuclear works were purely for peaceful meaning such as nuclear energy. This raised an alarm and the United States developed interest in knowing the underlying secrets behind the nuclear program owned by Iran government. In 2003. June, Iran was referred to the UN Security Council for the purpose of diplomatic and peaceful negotiations with the EU3; Germany France and the United Kingdom [6]. The U.S. still did not participate in the negotiations. It was until October the same year that Iran accepted finally to comply with the requirements of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and thus suspended operations on all Uranium resources.

In 2005 August, newly elected president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad broke down the predefined EU3 agreements and gave a notice to resume uranium conversion at Esfahan fields. The country as well resumed the enrichment at Natanz, prompting the concerned bodies to refer her to the Un Security council once again [7]. The ups and downs regarding to the nuclear energy and safety in the long run drew an international attention after Iran seemed not to be acquainted with the frequent agreements she used to sign and consequential resumption of unregulated secret development of nuclear weapons. A series of bilateral talks sphere headed by the U.S began in 2013 led by William Joseph and Burns and Jake Sullivan representing the United States [8]. It was after several rounds of negotiations that the Joint Plan of Action was developed as an interim agreement reading the nuclear program of Iran. It was signed in Geneva Switzerland between Iran and the P5+1 nations on 24th November 2013[9]. The program froze for a while some portions of nuclear program of Iran meanwhile as long term agreement was being worked on. The negotiations that led to the signing of the agreement basically aimed at limiting Iran’s primary nuclear facilities; the Arak IR-40 heavy water reactor and the production plant [10].

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This review is being necessary as required by the country’s minister for foreign affairs. The implementation of the nuclear deal and removal of sanctions on Iran has greatly affected the relations of Iran with other nations and more-so Russia, the immediate neighbor. The economic relations between the Russian federation and Iran have increased and offered many opportunities. This then has called for a need to review the policy so as to single out the provisions and the amendments that can be made in order to perpetuate the new order in the economic development for both Iran and Russia.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) as a policy gave a number of provisions to cover the operations on the enrichment. The stockpile of low-enriched uranium in Iran was to be reduced by 98% and maintain the reduced level for the next fifteen years. Iran as also to be limited to only 3.67% of the enriching uranium which would basically be used for nuclear the country’s nuclear power and research other than manufacture of nuclear weapons [11].

One other provision was that Iran shutdown and reserve two-thirds of tis centrifuges. This in figures was about 6100 centrifuges on operation and 5060 of them for enriching uranium. Enrichment work was limited to Natanz plant only [12]. The research and development exercises were not halted but were limited to take place only at Natanz facility.

The Fordow facility was needed to stop for at least fifteen years the work of enriching and research on uranium. The IR-1 centrifuges in the facility were not to exceed 1044. Besides, this, Iran was required to make an implementation of Additional Protocol agreement as far its membership in the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty holds [13].

One of the most important provisions in this policy was a perpetual comprehensive monitoring of Iran in regard to compliance with the policy requirements [14]. Several inspectors from the IAEA were assigned to take charge of checking into it that Iran does not engage any development of nuclear weapons while researching and enriching uranium. There were several other provisions and sanctions placed on Iran by policy in regard to the nuclear work.

The policy provisions and requirements came with an impact on both Iran and the members that form part of JCPOA especially the instrumental participants of the long terms negotiations that came up with the already stated resolutions. Russia as a country forming part of this is affected in one way or another and for this reason then there are reactions that arise in response to the policy through an analytic approach. Basically the primary objective of the JCPOA was to regulate Iran in the use of nuclear resources and prevent the possibility of Iran manufacturing nuclear weapons and thus minimize the nuclear threats [15]. All these would be done by just amending the nuclear program.

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Ideally the long term negotiations that led to the development of this policy were sphere headed by the United States. The Russian observers for this reason then fear that if Iran is entering into an agreement in acceptance of America’s opinions then there is high chance that Iran would turns to the United States and the maybe the entire West while running away from Russia [16]. As a matter of fact, it was a priority for President Obama of the United States to achieve diplomatic relations with Iran in regard to the issue of nuclear [17]. The fear of Russia was only quenched by the long understood hostility between the U.S and Iran. For this reason then. Tehran has been pursuing close ties to Moscow irrespective of the Soviet interventions in the affairs of Iran as well as the most of the policy issues.

The policy is doing fairly good but there are a number of concerns from Russia regarding the policy implications. This is basically on grounds of the missiles made from Uranium and plutonium as raw materials. As strategy the United States adopted the European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA).  This system as affirmed by the United States was meant to counter the Iranian and North Korean global missile threats [18]. Despite the assurance given by the U.S, Russia still could not be convinced on the real objective of EPAA. It believed that the system employed by the U.S negated the capabilities of Russia on nuclear deterrence. The same issue did not just end with EPAA, it was transferred into the new policy, the JCPOA. Even to the present Moscow still questions the credibility of the stated shield against nuclear threats in the world, Russia inclusive. It was thus the Russian expectation that with inception of JCPOA, the United States would do away with EPAA. The long time demand from Moscow has always been that America enters with them an agreement that EPAA is not aiming Russia [19]. The expectation has never come true despite a series of meetings for negotiation between the U.S. and Russia and even between NATO and Russia. This is basically an area of concern that is being an obstacle towards the complete success of the policy. Some amendments needed to be done on EPAA [20]. Russia needs to be made satisfied and acquainted by the operations and objectives of EPAA. An alternative to this can mean doing completely away with EPAA and flourishing the JCPOA which still factors in all the provisions of EPAA.

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One other major concern coming as a critique to the agreement is the imposed policies on the government of Iran basically by the foreign nations. The claim by one Iranian, Zarif said the country has not been affected economically by the implemented policy. But then, there are concerns and fears from Iran in regard to the foreign interference especially considering the promised economic improvement from the German Minister of Economy. Iran entered into agreement with the P5+1 countries looking up to the initial promise on economic development [21]. The same has not worked out. Any development realized in Iran has primarily been as a result of economic ties with Russia. It is being suspected therefore that the United States through the implemented policy is getting a way to criticize Russia in regard to its strategic partnership with Iran. If Tehran and Moscow have a mutual economic benefit then an external policy sort of an intrusion may affect the economic trail of these two nations [22]. As long as Iran is still a sovereign state taking part in fighting terrorism, it may not be realistic to impose a foreign policy to govern the resources and consequently the economic development of the country [23]. The same criticism seemed to mean that if nuclear negotiations with Iran failed, the United States would resolve to use military action against the nation and thus destabilize and greatly affect the regional peace and security [24]. In general anything that in any way threatens the stability of Iran is likely to affect Russia in the corresponding ways.

One other concern over the policy agreement is the span of time over which the sanctions and deterrence was made. The objective of the agreement was to keep Iran free from manufacture or possession of nuclear weapons. The time span allowed for the sanctions and related issues would end at the sunset of 15 years [25]. The later would thus mean that the country can still revive the nuclear program and embark on building missiles and other nuclear weapons.

As the way forward to the present terms of the agreement, there is need to make adjustments and relevant amendments in order to that the policy can perpetuate, otherwise it may call for another series of negotiations at the lapse of the fifteen years declared or nuclear sanctions in the agreement. There is need to give a Iran at least some amount of free in regard to the use of her mineral resources provided they don’t manufacture the so called nuclear weapons. The 3.67% of Uranium stated in the policy is too little to sustain the trading affairs of Iran and the trading partner, Russia [26].

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It should also be made clear that the brain child behind the provisions of the agreement is the United States. The open criticism of the U.S on Russia may indicates that they have some vested interest in Iran and thus pushing aside Russia can give a pave way for the deal [27]. Terms and clean objectives of the policy need thus be reinvented and made plain. Besides that, the time span limit given may mean in the long, the original state of things will resume. There are a lot that came along with the policy. It thus important to restructure in the agreement that the agreed upon statements should last as long as the policy is alive and operational.

Considering some of the already stated limitations and part of the assumptions of the policy, there exist a variety of different perspective approaches towards addressing the issue of nuclear weapons in Iran. These other ways can be serve as alternative to the policy agreement at hand. JCPOA in this issue is probably being the best option but in the absence of it, there are other alternative approaches. If negotiations fail to yield the desired outcome, it still work well to employ military force means. The idea of the U.S president, Barrack Obama is really true that JCPOA is the only existing option if not the actual war [28]. The statement is being affirmed by the underlying realities behind the Iranian secrets armory movements. Iranian observers and even those of Russia ascertain it the Islamic republic’s program on nuclear has been working on manufacturing weapons made from uranium and plutonium. This was confirmed to be true irrespective of the frequent denials by the Khamenei Ayatollah and his work mate officials. Fighting the nuclear threats especially where individuals of such kind are involved can be very difficult to use negotiations since lies are involved. Intelligent military approach can therefore be a means to enact the objectives of the former policy.

Tougher negotiations could still be an option in case of failure of JCPOA [28]. This has to do with going an extra mile to intensify negotiations as claimed by some critics. There is possibility that if negotiations were made a bit more intense, countries such as Russia that had different view of the policy would have come at bar with the rest of the nations entering the peace agreement. So as a general perspective, the efforts to further negotiations needed to have been refueled for more acceptance of the policy.

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One other alternative could be a covert action which is more like the military strike [29]. It is designed to dismantle all the predefined actions plans of the Iranian nuclear program. Doing such involves the technical knowledge such the centrifuges can be made to spin at a very high frequency beyond the limits that ultimately lead to breakage. Another action may involve assassinating the principle physicists along with many other covert action ways. The downside of this alternative is that it can only slow down the nuclear program of Iran rather than stopping it completely.

For all these reasons then, the JCPOA approach still remains the best means as it is considerate and peaceful. It only requires timely review and amendments to suit the economic as well the security stability of the directly affected states such as middles East countries, Russia and its environs included. The current situation of world peace especially with respect to terror requires that such policies exist to monitor and talk close look into potential nuclear and related threats.

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  1. Albright, D., Wood, H. and Stricker, A., 2015. Breakout Timelines Under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Institute for Science and International Security, 18.
  2. Robbins, J.S., 2015. East European Missile Defense Is Needed Now More Than Ever. DEFENSE DOSSIER, p.11.
  3. Hurst, S., 2017. Obama and Iran: Explaining Policy Change. In The Obama Presidency and the Politics of Change (pp. 289-305). Springer International Publishing.
  4. Reynolds, M.E., 2016, July. From Base Closings to the Budget. In Party and Procedure in the United States Congress (p. 235). Rowman & Littlefield.
  5. Bowen, W., Esfandiary, D. and Moran, M., 2016. Introduction: Understanding Iranian Proliferation Behaviour. In Living on the Edge (pp. 1-13). Palgrave Macmillan UK.
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  8. Farzanegan, M.R., Khabbazan, M.M. and Sadeghi, H., 2016. Effects of Oil Sanctions on Iran’s Economy and Household Welfare: New Evidence from A CGE Model. In Economic Welfare and Inequality in Iran (pp. 185-211). Palgrave Macmillan US.
  9. Bohlen, A., 2015. Iran: An Opening for Diplomacy? Survival, 57(5), pp.59-66.
  10. Singh, M., 2016. One Year After the Nuclear Deal: Is Iran Moderating?
  11. Kamali, A., 2016. Assessing the Impacts of the Iran Nuclear Deal on Climate Change.
  12. Katulis, B., 2016. Middle East Stability and the International Agreement on Iran’s Nuclear Program. Center for American Progress.
  13. Katzman, K. and Kerr, P.K., 2015. Iran nuclear agreement. Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service.
  14. Soltanieh, A.A. and Rezaeian, M., 2017. Nuclear and renewable energy in Iran: Nuclear challenges and opportunities. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy.
  15. uz Zaman, M.S., 2016. Evolution of Israel’s Nuclear Programme: Implications in Post Iran Nuclear Deal Era. Regional Studies, 34(Summer 2016), pp.75-98.
  16. McFaul, M. and Milani, A., 2016. Reading Reagan in Tehran: A Strategy of Realistic Engagement. The Washington Quarterly, 39(4), pp.145-163.
  17. House, W., 2016. The Iran Nuclear Deal: What You Need to Know about the JCPOA.
  18. Colebrook, C., Gardiner, L., Kelly, G., Griffiths, R., Gildea, R., Glennie, A., Torfeh, M., de Vos, P., Breimaier, S., Taylor, M. and Murray, C., 2016. What lies ahead: 12 predictions for 2017. Juncture, 23(3), pp.179-196.
  19. Cohen, E., Edelman, E. and Takeyh, R., 2016. Time to Get Tough on Tehran: Iran Policy after the Deal. Foreign Aff., 95, p.64.
  20. Entessar, N. and Afrasiabi, K.L., 2015. The Iran Nuclear Accord and the Future of Nonproliferation: A Constructivist-Critical Approach. Brown J. World Aff., 22, p.177.
  21. Fitzpatrick, M., 2015. Iran: A good deal. Survival, 57(5), pp.47-52.
  22. Fitzpatrick, M., 2017. An Order of Priorities in Confronting Iran. Survival, 59(2), pp.25-29.
  23. Jahanpour, F., 2015. Iran and the Non-Proliferation Treaty. The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, 34(7), p.12.
  24. Johansen, M.A., 2016. The Nuclear Weapons Latency Value of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with the Islamic Republic of Iran (Doctoral dissertation).
  25. Mardani, N. and Hooshmand, M.M., 2016. JCPOA; A Dialectical Paradigm of Treaty and Other International Instruments. J. Pol. & L., 9, p.70.
  26. McCain, C., 2015. The History of US-Iran Relations and its Effect on the JCPOA Negotiations.
  27. Moore, T.C., 2015. Iran: Non-proliferation overshadowed. Survival, 57(5), pp.53-58.
  28. Obama, B., 2016, January. Executive Order 13716: Revocation of Executive Orders 13574, 13590, 13622, and 13645 With Respect to Iran, Amendment of Executive Order 13628 With Respect to Iran, and Provision of Implementation Authorities for Aspects of Certain Statutory Sanctions Outside the Scope of US Commitments Under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action of July 14, 2015. In United States. Office of the Federal Register (No. Executive Order 13716; EO 13716). United States. Office of the Federal Register.
  29. Phillips, J., 2016. The Dangerous Regional Implications of the Iran Nuclear Agreement. Heritage Foundation Backgrounder, (3124).
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