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Reaching and sustaining a nuclear deal with Iran

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World leaders negotiate a deal limiting Iran's nuclear program in exchange for the cessation of economic sanctions against Iran. (AP Photo/Brian Snyder, Pool, FILE)

World leaders negotiate a deal limiting Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for the cessation of economic sanctions against Iran. (AP Photo/Brian Snyder, Pool, FILE)

As a Global Zero activist and proponent of total nuclear disarmament, I find the fact that another nation could likely join the nine nuclear weapons countries extremely unsettling.

In a world that already bears the burden of harboring over 16,000 nuclear weapons, the proliferation of nuclear weapons will only serve to further endanger the international community. Therefore, in the interest of the security of all peoples, rational and collaborative steps must be taken in order to ensure Iran does not develop nuclear weapons, which includes the nurturing of diplomatic negotiations about its nuclear program.

It is critical that constructive negotiations with Iran are given time and space to succeed in order to avoid the continued proliferation of nuclear weapons. As a framework of a deal with Iran has finally been reached in regard to its nuclear program which will be officially finalized by June 30 of 2015, the world has seen a small, yet nonetheless significant, progression toward a more peaceful world.

Despite the recent strides in diplomacy with Iran, U.S. policymakers continue to impetuously undermine such negotiations. The blatant lack of support from Congressional representatives, displayed in Politico’s, “Republicans senators warn Iran in open letter,” is reflected in the the letter recently written by 47 Republican senators to Iranian leaders, which states that any nuclear deal Iran reaches with President Barack Obama’s administration will not last when the President leaves office.

The senators who composed the letter wrote, “you may not fully understand our constitutional system …” asserting, “anything approved by Congress is a mere executive agreement.” This clearly indicates their blatant negation of the ongoing negotiations currently taking place, as well as their intentions to reverse any progress made in said negotiations.

Such a refusal to support negotiations is detrimental to the safety of the international community as it moves the world closer to the development of a nuclear war. While the likelihood of Iran developing nuclear weapons looms, the chance that surrounding countries will also develop nuclear power emerges.

In lieu of negotiations with Iran, these senators call for the continued piling of harsh, yet clearly unproductive, sanctions. The Menendez-Kirk Bill, (S. 269), for example, would place new sanctions on Iran, adding to the numerous sanctions that the nation has already been facing for decades. However, we know from Iran’s history that sanctions will only push Iran away from negotiations, not only regarding the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons, but the disarmament of nuclear devices altogether.

Before engaging in the current negotiations with Iran about its nuclear program, the United States had not officially spoken to the nation for about 35 years. After decades of extremely tense relations with Iran, the United States and other nations of the international community have finally come together to diplomatically discuss the security threats posed by Iran’s potential development of their nuclear capability.

The simple fact that nuclear negotiations with Iran are taking place and are furthermore making progress marks a hopeful chapter in the struggle to avoid the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

Considering  that a framework of a nuclear deal with Iran has been reached, and that it will expectantly be finalized in this upcoming summer, it is vital that U.S. policymakers abandon their trivial political games in order to ensure the success of such a deal and to continue to foster negotiations with Iran in the future.

Realistic discussions about nuclear issues serve as the best option to prevent the development of Iran’s nuclear capabilities, as well as related future conflicts or military interventions that would follow; therefore, I urge U.S. congressional representatives to support these deliberations, rather than continue to block the efforts to set the foundation for more peaceful alternatives.

We must lead the international discussion on the nonproliferation and elimination of nuclear weapons for the security of our global citizens.

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Reaching and sustaining a nuclear deal with Iran