by Jazeh Miller
Tensions between the United States and Iran were simmering during the United Nations General Assembly last week. Threats were sent in both directions and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned the US that if it pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal it would pay a high cost. This goes to show that the nuclear deal means a lot to Iran.
If sanctions are reimposed on Tehran, the country’s economy will be crippled and it will struggle to continue at its current rate with regards to the export of terrorism. Currently, the Islamic Republic spends a large portion of its budget on terrorism one way or another, such as via the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and on the war in Syria where it has been propping up Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad.
It would be naïve, however, to think that scrapping the nuclear deal would be the best solution. The deal is immensely one-sided as Trump said during his speech at the UN General Assembly, and it is an “embarrassment” to the United States because it gives the Iranian regime so many concessions.
It must not be forgotten that the Iranian regime has mastered the art of deception. However, if we take a step back and look at the situation from afar, we see millions of Iranian people, almost three-quarters of the country’s population, that are under the age of forty.
Most of these people want peace in their country. They want to enjoy the same human rights that we in the West take for granted. They want rapprochement with the West, not war.
When we consider the nuclear deal as being for the people of Iran and not for the belligerent rulers, we can understand that the deal is not so bad after all. It shows the West that the United States and other world powers are concerned about them and want them to be the force behind regime change in their country.
The hardliners of Iran are the ones that will never get rid of their anti-American sentiment and their anti-imperialism pride. The hardliners will always choose Islamic revolution values.
Yet, current policies toward Iran are not helping the people of Iran. And if the deal is scrapped, the people of Iran will suffer even more because hardliners will use it to consolidate power over them. The people of Iran are told on a regular basis that the West is behind all their problems, and if the deal is scrapped many Iranians may tend to agree.
Furthermore, businesses in the West fear being sanctioned for doing business with Iran. Google Analytic accounts in Iran were shut down and Apple has now removed Iranian apps from their store. These are services that help the young people of Iran.
Our policy towards Iran should be rewritten. It should target the hardliners in Iran and it should help the millions of people that want regime change. The country’s private sector should be helped, not hindered.