In 2015, a nuclear deal was struck between Iran and six world powers – the US, UK, Russia, France, China, and Germany – and has since been called the signature foreign policy achievement of the eight year Obama Presidency. This is unsurprising, given the notable lack of foreign policy achievements under Barack Obama’s tenure as President and Hillary Clinton’s as Secretary of State. The deal essentially lifted economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for limitations to the country’s nuclear energy programme.
Unsurprisingly, the Iranian nuclear deal was not without its detractors, who claimed that it fell short of guaranteeing that Iran could not develop a nuclear bomb, and concerns were also raised, most notably by Benjamin Netanyahu, that a strengthened (and financially bolstered) Iran would simply support other extremist countries in their quests for nuclear weapons.
As we pull out of the EU, we will regain our ability to pursue our own independent foreign policy, and this presents the perfect opportunity to back the US over the EU in regard to improving the situation with Iran in the Middle East.
The new President of the United States is a vocal critic of the nuclear Iran deal secured by his predecessor in conjunction with the EU’s representative Cathy Ashton. In light of this, we need to assess why Donald Trump has announced an end to American support for the deal, and evaluate how we can support him should he attempt to renegotiate the settlement.