Every other day it seems, there is new information or breaking news on the Iran nuclear deal. The deal has a different connotation to everyone when they hear it, whether their first thought is that it’s a groundbreaking step forward in international diplomacy, or detrimental to the West’s security, people feel something when it’s mentioned.
The Iran nuclear deal has had a long history. Depending on how you looked at it, the deal’s history goes back to when the Shah was originally put in power. That Iranian history – especially its relationship with the West – is so fundamental to understand how we got to this moment today, as well as the importance of these negotiations.
In recent history, the agreement we know today essentially started with President Obama’s pledge in 2007 to reopen a relationship with Iran, which at the time, was looked at as a bit naive. Obama has since had a strong motivation to increase relations. Now that the prospect of a finalized deal is right around the corner, it’s no surprise he is hammering it home.
There are still a lot of moving parts left in getting this deal finalized, including the approval of our Congress. With new members of Congress stepping out in support of the deal recently, Obama has the amount of votes in Congress he needs to get the deal through another step. The method uses tricky political maneuvering, and we know that nothing in Washington is permanent. There is still room for things to sway one way or another.
No matter your opinion, there is no denying the Iran deal is important. Up until a couple of years ago, there was no formal communication between Iran and America since the 1979 revolution, despite the fact that Iran is in the top 30 of gross domestic product rankings, and is a member of the Next Eleven, a group of countries acknowledged for their high economic potential. This was all done under the sanctions that are currently in place. With the election of moderate Hassan Rouhani, and not to mention the extremely young population, the idea of what this country could do with more economic freedom is, frankly, pretty exciting.
Personally, I think this deal is a great step forward in American foreign policy, especially around the Middle East region. The deal opens up opportunities for America and Iran to have better relations. Ideally, this would put the United States in a better position in the Middle East than it is in currently. Additionally, a safe and secure nuclear deal with Iran would free up the State Department to focus on other major issues in the region, and others as well.
Iran has been subject to some severe media stereotyping, and this image has led to a fear of the state. This fear is the base at of any criticism of this deal. But what we have seen on TV and reported online is not an accurate representation of who that country really is. One example is Humans of New York, a popular photo blog that has recently done a series on Iranians. The whole series shows that Iranians truly are just like us. They’re people with hopes and who are excited at the prospect of increased relations with the west – not people who are constantly in the streets crying “down with the USA.” Another example is a video done by Vox, where one of their reporters added Iranians on Facebook, and saw once again, that those people are not the people we have been led to believe they are.
The vote in Congress is coming up soon, and as previously stated, this deal is important no matter your opinion. But since Congress is getting a say in this matter, you should have a voice as well. Colorado senators Cory Gardner and Michael Bennett are split on the matter, and while they have publicly announced what they support, it doesn’t mean things cannot change. I would encourage you to contact one of them, whether it is to try to persuade them another way, encourage their positions in support or even just to get further informed.
Collegian Columnist Alexandra Stettner can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter at @alexstetts.