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Earlier this week on May 8th, the United States President, Donald Trump, fulfilled an election promise by withdrawing from the Iran Nuclear Deal. The deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was reached in 2015 after two years of negotiations between Iran, the EU and the P5+1 (Russia, China, France, Germany, the U.K. and the U.S.). It required Iran to limit developments on its nuclear program in return for a lift in sanctions that have been in place since 2006.
One of the requirements of the deal maintains that Iran is to allow inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to come in and check that the country is holding its end of the agreement. According to their reports, Iran had been complying with the requirements to reduce nuclear developments.
However, the withdrawal from the deal has been accompanied by growing tensions between the U.S. and Iran as Trump seeks to undo any progress made by Obama in the region. The action is also representative of the growing friendship between the U.S. and Israel. Unsurprisingly, Israel, who has been against the Iran nuclear deal from the start, applauded Trump’s decision and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu praised his ‘courage’ to withdraw from it.
The reactions of other parties have not been so positive. Ultimately failing, U.K. and French foreign ministries made bids in the days leading up to the announcement, in an attempt to change the American president’s mind. The EU issued a statement that said it was with “regret and concern” that they acknowledge Trump’s decision, declaring that they would be adhering to the deal regardless of his withdrawal. The president’s choice to re-impose sanctions against Iran are likely to hurt the American economy more than anything else as the other states involved in the Nuclear Deal are attempting to keep it alive and will not be following Donald Trump’s path.
The Iranian Parliament saw the burning of the United States flag, and chants of ‘Death to America’ by the MPs. Trump’s decision has inflamed the instability in the Middle East and has reignited anger towards the U.S. Tensions between Iran and Israel have already been growing in recent months and the president’s choice has increased the real possibility of conflict between the two countries. Syria has become a place of conflict for Iran and Israel where strained relations between Israeli and Iranian forces have spilled over and resulted in dispute between the two nations. In the beginning of this week Israel fired missiles at Iranian soldiers positioned in Syria in retaliation to an earlier attack on Israeli soldiers.
One can only hope that the EU, along with China and Russia, are able to reach an agreement through talks with Iran to ensure that the deal continues without the U.S. If it remains viable and Iran agrees to its continued implementation, it would lessen the chance that the tensions between Israel and Iran will increase. If they continue to rise, it threatens the security of the region and all the people who live there. If sanctions are re-imposed on Iran, the country as a whole will suffer. This includes a shortage of drugs for cancer and various medications for other illnesses. Although Trump has decided against peaceful progress, there remains hope that through negotiations Iran will remain committed to the Nuclear Deal.