President Trump formally withdrew America from the landmark nuclear deal with Iran on Tuesday afternoon. Here's information regarding what the Iran Deal is, why we joined the deal in the first place, and what the next steps are.

What is the Iran Deal?

The Iran deal, which was created under the Obama administration, restricts Tehran from developing nuclear weapons in exchange for the easing of economic sanctions. Before the deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, Iran could likely make a nuclear bomb within two to three months if it decided to. After the accord, it would take Iran about a year to make the weapon in exchange for more money to be able to flow into their country. Under the deal, Iran was still allowed to test mistles, sponsor terrorist groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas, and could crack down on human rights at home. 

Those against the deal, feel like the restrictions on Iran's centrifuges could disappear after ten years, and the limits on uranium enrichment go away five years after that. Some critics, including President Trump who called this the worst decision ever - believe it's therefore possible Iran could go back on the nuclear path around the mid-2020s.

Why did America agree to the Iran Deal?

President Obama had two clear reasons for signing the deal. The first, he wanted to ensure Iran didn't get a nuclear weapon which would trigger a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. Secondly, Obama thought there were only two options. Either Iran building a nuclear weapon is resolved diplomatically through negotiation, or it's resolved through war.

Obama wanted to prevent Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons and felt the only way to stop Iran from getting them was to strike a deal or go to war.

Why would Iran want nuclear weapons?

Iran has never let on their plans to build nuclear weapons. In fact, the Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif as even spoken to the press on CBS News's Face the Nation that they "never wanted to produce a bomb."

However, that has been a lie. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has presented evidence from thousands of documents obtained in an intelligence coup that Iran was on the path to a nuclear weapon. Their reasons? For both defensive and offensive purposes.

Having a nuclear weapon would make Iran stronger. Iran could also more boldly support Bashar al-Assad in Syria and the terrorist groups Hezbollah and Hamas that they finance. By having a nuclear weapon, they could be more aggressive in pursuing their objectives without as much worry about other countries attacking them. For example, how countries don't step in with North Korea.

Why does Trump want to leave the Iran Deal?

There are three main reasons why President Trump wants to leave the Iran deal. First, Iran is violating the spirit of the deal, as Iran continues to work against America in the Middle East. Iran is still a US enemy. Secondly, Iran is still able to test mistles and President Trump doesn't like that Iran can begin gathering centrifuges in a few years. Finally, Trump thinks he could make a better deal. He's been welcoming French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and UK Foreign Minister Boris Johnson to discuss other options.

Has Anything Led America to Believe Iran Has Broken the Nuclear Deal?

According to the IAEA, the UN's nuclear inspectors, Iran complies with the nuclear deal. However, they have begun violating aspects of the technical terms of the deal since 2016. For example, in 2016 Iran twice exceeded the amount of heavy water in nuclear reactors they were allowed to have.

What Happens if US Leaves the Iran Deal?

According to US officials familiar with the plan, the sanctions could take months to go into effect as America develops guidance for companies and banks.

After the US would reimpose the sanctions it lifted on Iran's nuclear program, we just don't know how other countries that are party to the deal would react nor how Iran would react.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned there would be severe consequences if anyone betrays the deal, however after the latest developments Rouhani has changed his tone. During a televised address on Monday, he stated Iran might stay in the deal regardless of President Trump's decision.

"We are not worried about America's cruel decisions. We are prepared for all scenarios" Rouhani stated.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani stated the deal could survive even without America, however, the Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said Tehran would "most likely" leave the deal if the US did.

If Iran does, they might put themselves on the path to a nuclear weapon again. However, staying in a bad deal could mean providing Iran with billions in revenue over the course of the next decade, followed by them then being allowed to build weapons.

All aspects show just how serious this moment is. Foreign leaders are openly wondering if a war with Iran is imminent due to this decision.







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