El Segundo High School

The White House Press Room explains the Iran nuclear deal

After 20 months of intensive negotiations, this month the United States reached a deal that prevents Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. This deal is named the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). I have reviewed the correspondence from the White House Press Room and understand that the deal cuts off all of Iran’s pathways to a nuclear weapon via plutonium as well as uranium enrichment. Under this deal Iran is never allowed to develop nuclear weapons. At the same time the deal ensures sanctions if there are any violations. In addition, the deal provides that Iran is prohibited from undertaking “key research and development activities that it would need to design and construct a nuclear weapon.”

This deal was not made lightly. Over the past few years hundreds of professionals from the Department of State, Department of Energy, Treasury Department, and the Intelligence Community, worked tirelessly to test every part of this deal and make sure that it did exactly what President Obama intended. Additionally, this is an unilateral deal between the United States and Iran. Our allies in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and multiple other countries have been part of the negotiations; as well, the United Nations and the Vatican support the deal.

The JCPOA is based on what the White House terms “verification, not trust. This deal includes the most comprehensive and intrusive verification regime ever negotiated. There will be 24/7 monitoring of Iran’s key declared nuclear facilities.” Furthermore, Iran will not receive any sanctions relief until it verifiably completes the steps deemed important steps to rollback its program.

From what I understand people in America are concerned about the implications of sanctions relief. The idea is that if Iran completes the key nuclear steps in the deal, they in turn receive sanctions relief, which allows them to access about $50 billion in their overseas foreign reserves.  People are concerned that they will use this $50 billion “for terrorism, human rights abuses, missile program, and destabilizing activities.” But, the White House feels that “a nuclear-armed Iran would be a much greater terrorist threat to the region than an Iran that has access to additional amounts of its own money.”

The fact is that Iran having a nuclear weapon is a threat to national and international security. The other viable option is taking military action against Iran. Of course this threatens the lives of Americans, and Iran would continue to pursue a nuclear weapon. War is not a suitable option!

In essence, under this deal, America works toward world peace by permanently prohibiting Iran “from ever having a nuclear weapons program;” and by implementing a “permanent and comprehensive inspection verification protocol”. Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright says, “I think it’s a good and important deal. It is a very complicated one that everybody is going to have to study. I welcome the discussion about it because…I think it is historic.” So, teens, as Ms. Albright says, lets study the Iran nuclear deal, let’s educate ourselves, let’s discuss it, and have a point of view. We are the leaders of the next generation, and it is our job to have a point of view on shaping the future of world peace.