Editorial: Try to find compromise in Iran deal


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It’ s been nearly a month since Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed Congress about nuclear talks with Iran. On March 3, Netanyahu made the world of U.S. politics stand still with his address.

Netanyahu’s speech to Congress illustrated one of the biggest divides between major political parties in the United States outside of an election season in recent memory. With dozens of Democratic members of Congress electing to skip the speech, the stance of the party was clear.

The thought that an Iran nuclear deal would not have been reached by today, however, was not present in the minds of global leaders who set a March 31 deadline for a deal to be reached. Yet as the seventh day of conversations in Lausanne, Switzerland, wore on and global diplomacy hung in the balance, a deal had still not been reached Wednesday when talks concluded for the day.

The Daily Iowan Editorial Board believes that any deal that may (or may not) be reached must prevent Iran, without doubt, from creating a nuclear weapon. However, as long as critical points are maintained, it may be time for the United States and other global powers to make reasonable compromises so that a deal, any deal, can be reached.

According to a video posted by USA Today, there are several major points that have been a source of delay in reaching a deal. For example, while Iran would like to increase the number of centrifuges it has from 19,000 to 200,000 the United States would like to see the opposite — a decrease in centrifuges to 6,500.

Furthermore, the video adds, world powers want Iran to ship its uranium stores to Russia or have them converted to a form that cannot be used to create the bomb — a caveat that has also been a sticking point.

The biggest sticking point of all, however, is over the gradual or quick removal of sanctions.

According to the New York Times, the Obama administration favors a phased removal of sanctions over Iran under a set of specific conditions. Meanwhile, Iran’s negotiators have demanded the upfront removal of such sanctions.

The Obama administration and other global political powers are correct to demand sanctions be lifted only upon proof of “good behavior.” Moreover, it is entirely reasonable for global powers to ask Iran to convert its uranium stores, despite what Iran refers to as its “nuclear rights,” according to Reuters.

On points such as these, the removal of which would almost certainly allow Iran a path to nuclear weapons, the United States cannot give in to the demands of the Iranian negotiators.

However, despite the harsh rhetoric of Netanyahu a month ago, going forward without a deal may not be better than going forward with the current deal.

The battle over Iran’s nuclear power has turned Democrats and Republicans sharply against one another. While Democrats’ attempts to prevent harsh economic sanctions are appearing too weak, Republicans’ refusal for compromise may prove detrimental to success of any deal. Though the president is ultimately the decision maker on diplomacy, several Republicans have insinuated that any deal that is made could be in jeopardy depending on who is elected in the future. 

While any deal that allows Iran a path to the bomb, even on a remote chance, is unforgivable, the United States shouldn’t rule out areas of acceptable compromise. Where those areas are will be more difficult to find.

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