On 16th January 2016, sanctions on Iran which had been imposed on 31st July 2006 were lifted. After months and months of discussions among the P5+1 (China, France, USA, UK, Russia plus Germany) and Iran, a deal was finally made. So that is how it should’ve ended, right? I mean, the deal is signed and will be in effect for the next ten years or so, after which it will be renewed. Well, not exactly.
With the American election going on, and no clarity as of now on whom the next president will be, each of the presidential candidates has varied opinions on the matter. Moreover, a US negotiator who worked on the Iran deal has stated that the next president of America could legally overturn the Iran deal, leaving us back at square one.
Here’s a brief summary of the opinions of the presidential candidates on this matter:
Hillary Clinton – While she fervently opposes most of Iran’s policies, Hillary Clinton supports the Iran deal.
Bernie Sanders – He agrees that the deal does not contain everything that he would’ve liked it to, but he would still implement it as having this deal would be better than not having one at all.
Marco Rubio – He has not established a clear stance on the Iran deal, but he has expressed concern about Iran not complying with the deal.
Jeb Bush – Jeb Bush too, has remained almost neutral on the topic but believes “it’s not a strategy to tear up an agreement”.
Ben Carson – He believes that “Congress should have never agreed to anything outside of a treaty” and emphasizes the need to remind Iran that “there’s a new sheriff in town”.
Ted Cruz – He has taken up a very strong stand against the Iran deal and has said “If I am elected president, on the very first day in office, I will rip to shreds this catastrophic Iranian nuclear deal”.
Donald Trump – He has stated that he would “dismantle the disastrous deal”.
While some candidates have said they’d keep it, some have said they’d try to change the terms and others want to scrap it completely. But what guarantee is there that Iran’s leaders will accept the tougher terms set out by the next president? And with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s statement that Iran will not stop its ballistic missile program, in spite of pressure from different countries; will the existing deal withstand the heat, or crumble as it fails to be effective? Will the next president tear up the existing agreement and try to negotiate a new one or not negotiate one at all? Only time will tell.