FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Deal with the Deal: Nuclear Nonproliferation, Sanctions Relief, Then What?

The day the historic nuclear deal between Iran and the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, China, France and Germany (P5+1) was reached, President Obama declared that “the world can do remarkable things when we share a vision of peacefully addressing conflicts.” At the same time, Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Javad Zarif expressed his appreciation of a “process in order to reach a win-win solution … and open new horizons for dealing with serious problems that affect our international community.”

I am a Peace Scientist. I study the causes of war and conditions for peace. In my field we provide evidence-based alternatives to war using language such as “peacefully addressing conflicts” and “win-win solutions.” Today is a good day, since this deal creates the conditions for peace and is the most effective way for all involved to move forward.

The nuclear deal is an achievement in global nuclear nonproliferation. Iran has always insisted it was not pursuing nuclear weapons. This claim has been supported by former CIA analyst and Middle East specialist for the U.S. State Department, Flynt Leverett, who is among those experts who do not believe Iran was seeking to build nuclear weapons. Nevertheless, the framework of the deal should address the concerns of those fearing a nuclear armed Iran. In fact, this deal possibly prevented a nuclear arms race in the entire Middle East.

The relief of sanctions will allow for normalization of political, social and economic interactions. Trade relationships, for example, will make violent conflict less likely. Just look at the European Union, which originated out of a trade community. The current crisis with Greece shows that there certainly is conflict among its members, but it is unimaginable that they will go to war with each other.

Like most negotiated agreements, this deal will open pathways beyond nuclear nonproliferation and sanctions relief. We can expect more cooperation, improved relationships and lasting agreements between the P5+1 and Iran, as well as with other regional and global actors. This is of particular importance when dealing with complex issues around Syria, Iraq, ISIS, Yemen, oil, or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Critics of this deal are already active in trying to derail it. This is not the expected “quick fix” that an illusory swift military intervention would have been. That’s good, since there is no quick fix for countries who have been at odds for more than three decades. This is a constructive path forward which can ultimately restore relationships. As Obama is well aware, it could take years to pay off and nobody expects the process to be without challenges. Here is where the power of negotiation comes into play again. When parties reach agreements in certain areas, they are more likely to overcome obstacles in other areas. Agreements tend to lead to more agreements.

Another common point of critique is that the outcomes of the negotiated settlements are unclear. That’s correct. In negotiation, however, the means are certain and unlike war they do not come with the unacceptable human, social, and economic costs. There is no guarantee that the parties will uphold their commitments, that issues may need to be re-negotiated, or that the directions of the negotiations will change. This uncertainty is not true for war, where human casualties and suffering are guaranteed and cannot be undone.

This deal can be a turning point in history where global leaders recognized that global collaboration, constructive conflict transformation, and social change outweigh war and violence. A more constructive U.S. foreign policy will engage with Iran without the threat of war. However, public support is crucial, as there still is a sizeable contingent of congressional members stuck in the dysfunctional military solution paradigm. Now it is up to the American people to convince their representatives that this deal needs to be implemented. We cannot afford more wars and their guaranteed failures.

More articles by:

Patrick. T. Hiller, Ph.D. is a Conflict Transformation scholar, professor, on the Governing Council of the International Peace Research Association, member of the Peace and Security Funders Group, and Director of the War Prevention Initiative of the Jubitz Family Foundation.

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

Weekend Edition
April 19, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
What Will It Take For Trump to Get His Due?
Roy Eidelson
Is the American Psychological Association Addicted to Militarism and War?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Time is Blind, Man is Stupid
Joshua Frank
Top 20 Mueller Report “Findings”
Rob Urie
Why Russiagate Will Never Go Away
Paul Street
Stephen Moore Gets Something Right: It’s Capitalism vs. Democracy
Russell Mokhiber
Why Boeing and Its Executives Should be Prosecuted for Manslaughter
T.J. Coles
The Battle for Latin America: How the U.S. Helped Destroy the “Pink Tide”
Ron Jacobs
Ho Chi Minh City: Nguyen Thai Binh Street
Dean Baker
Fun Fictions in Economics
David Rosen
Trump’s One-Dimensional Gender Identity
Kenn Orphan
Notre Dame: We Have Always Belonged to Her
Robert Hunziker
The Blue Ocean Event and Collapsing Ecosystems
Theodore C. Van Alst, Jr.
Paddy Wagon
Brett Wilkins
Jimmy Carter: US ‘Most Warlike Nation in History of the World’
John W. Whitehead
From Jesus Christ to Julian Assange: When Dissidents Become Enemies of the State
Nick Pemberton
To Never Forget or Never Remember
Stephen Cooper
My Unforgettable College Stabbings
Louis Proyect
A Leftist Rejoinder to the “Capitalist Miracle”
Louisa Willcox
Aldo Leopold’s Land Ethic and the Need for a New Approach to Managing Wildlife
Brian Cloughley
Britain Shakes a Futile Fist and Germany Behaves Sensibly
Jessicah Pierre
A Revolutionary Idea to Close the Racial Wealth Divide
George Burchett
Revolutionary Journalism
Dan Bacher
U.S. Senate Confirms Oil Lobbyist David Bernhardt as Interior Secretary
Nicky Reid
The Strange Success of Russiagate
Chris Gilbert
Defending Venezuela: Two Approaches
Todd Larsen
The Planetary Cost of Amazon’s Convenience
Kelly Martin
How the White House is Spinning Earth Day
Nino Pagliccia
Cuba and Venezuela: Killing Two Birds With a Stone
Matthew Stevenson
Pacific Odyssey: Guadalcanal and Bloody Ridge, Solomon Islands
David Kattenburg
Trudeau’s Long Winter
Gary Olson
A Few Comments on the recent PBS Series: Reconstruction: America After the Civil War
Ellen Lindeen
What Does it Mean to Teach Peace?
Adewale Maye and Eileen Appelbaum
Paid Family and Medical Leave: a Bargain Even Low-Wage Workers Can Afford
Ramzy Baroud
War Versus Peace: Israel Has Decided and So Should We
Ann Garrison
Vets for Peace to Barbara Lee: Support Manning and Assange
Thomas Knapp
The Mueller Report Changed my Mind on Term Limits
Jill Richardson
Why is Going Green So Hard? Because the System Isn’t
Mallika Khanna
The Greenwashing of Earth Day
Arshad Khan
Do the Harmless Pangolins Have to Become Extinct?
Paul Armentano
Pushing Marijuana Legalization Across the Finish Line
B. R. Gowani
Surreal Realities: Pelosi, Maneka Gandhi, Pompeo, Trump
Paul Buhle
Using the Law to Build a Socialist Society
David Yearsley
Call Saul
Elliot Sperber
Ecology Over Economy 
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail