S Ovwata Onojieruo

A critical look at the pros and cons from the almost defunct Iran nuclear deal

The pulling out of the United states from the Iran nuclear deal on May 8th, though much anticipated by diplomats and analysts from all side of the aisle, is however still being recieved with some level of Shock, basing this on the fact that there seem no substantial planB as some say. However with the announcement of full sanction re-emplacement by the American government, as well as the creation of a room for re-negotiation, pending when the American demands have been met; coupled with Europe’s current move to salvage the deal; alot of questions comes to mind, most of which hinges on the point that the US pulling out of the deal is partly based on Iran’s provocative actions around the region.

Such question to ponder upon do include:

1) What could be the potency that these sanctions would curb Iranian aggression?

Obviously from a nominal perspective, skeptics have raised eyebrows that isolating Iran will only end up building more tensions almost equal to those of North Korea. This perspective is based on the surmise that as a result of lashing out economic sanctions, the Iranians in a bid to get all foes back to the table, maybe forced to either bow to American pressure (which some believe seems most unlikely), or increase its aggressive nature. Already the Iranian government have threatened to begin enriching uranium at an industrial scale, this seems more likely to be a first step towards hyper-aggressiveness or heightened deal-seeking despondency.

2) What about a sanctions bailout?

Certainly European countries as well as diplomatic strides to give a sanction bailout to Iran could if successful worsen the situation, and if a failure heighten it.

It could be worsened, owning to the fact that the Iranian regime would immediately seek the more to harm these countries around within the Middle-east such as Israel and Saudi arabia, based on the finance they would be able to convinently expend, as well as inflict any form of damage (if they can) on the United States as a retaliatory move, while also giving her a path to covertly work towards producing nuclear weapons. However a total fallout of Europe could produce only one of two responses viz; ‘a more aggressive Iran with no real financial power to fund it’s aggressiveness’ or ‘a more moderate and docile Iran.’

The already implaced sanctions seeks not only to weaken her major source of income which is her oil sector, but all other productive sectors, the result of which would cause a serious economic upheaval and downturn. Considering such situations, the Iranian government would have also to choose one of two options; which will be either continuing it’s aggressiveness abroad to the detriment of it’s citizens, or pulling out from it’s external involvement abroad to consolidate on it’s economy. A more moderate regime would consider the second option, but such probability may seem even slim considering Iran’s most recent rhetorics.

3) Could she seek a war?

Obviously that cannot be ruled out, as the more radical elements of the Iranian government may have already began brewing for one. She may seek to openly extend her campaigns in Syria as well as Yemen as well as her presence in Lebanon and Afghanistan both of which the nuclear deal failed to curb. But a consideration of her financial stand, may leave her towing the part of a more stronger rhetoric battle, than an actual millitary confrontation, considering the heavy financial implications of the latter.

4) Could she seek for nukes?

The potency of openly making this decision may increase, but the financial implications as well as reactions to this can never be overemphasized. One can say that while the almost defunct nuclear deal sought to appease a despot, these sanctions seeks to abase and bring her to a state of total openness and true willingness or total hostility, which definately would be to her hurt (if she treads such paths).

Though a vast majority affirm that a broken deal could have destabilizing effects on the region, a false deal would have even more, as it grants Iran economic privileges to continue aggressive operations, which privileges ‘Sanctions only’ would take away. For the past years, having an eye on the regime have never produced a true result, as it has rather escalated tensions, only trying to delay Iran’s true colour and postpone a larger conflict to a later period.

Now is the time for all groups to align themselves, and increase maximum pressure on the Iranian regime. The citizens themselves have shown their displeasure with the regime on several occasions.

If these sanctions are effective, the probability of having a North Korean kind of situation is much slimmer, as the funds as well as zest would be lost, and any desire to push through these by the regime, would only create a civil unrest; maybe even worse than the Arab spring.

About the Author
S Ovwata Onojieruo is a Theologian, Political Scientist and Philosopher, whose Research interest spans across the areas of Legal theory, Political Philosophy, Social Epistemology, International Politics and International Relations theory. He currently functions as a Post-graduate Researcher, and Tutorial assistant with the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, and can be reached on twitter @OvwataS
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