This April, negotiators made history when they reached a framework agreement over Iran’s nuclear program. After months of negotiations between Iran and six world powers, known as the P5+1, their agreement will form the basis for a lasting nuclear deal -- a deal that will prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon.
It hasn’t been easy. Some members of the United States Congress have been vocally opposed to diplomatic efforts, and a few have actively tried to sabotage the negotiations.
But Global Zero members have taken a strong stand for diplomacy -- meeting with their members of Congress, writing to their local newspapers, and reaching tens of thousands on social media. But why are advocates for a world without nuclear weapons interested in nuclear diplomacy with Iran? This blog series will illustrate some of the main reasons for Global Zero’s support for a peaceful, diplomatic deal with Iran.
The club of nuclear states
One major connection between nuclear negotiations with Iran and the movement for the elimination of nuclear weapons is this: Reaching a verifiable nuclear deal means preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear-armed state. In order to achieve a world without nuclear weapons, we must first stop the spread of nuclear weapons.
There are currently nine countries that possess nuclear weapons, but dozens more have the ability to build a nuclear bomb if they choose. Those are 59 potential new members of the club of nuclear states, and Iran is one of them. A final deal with Iran will prevent the club of countries from growing to ten. That’s worth working towards.
Setting a precedent
Using diplomacy to dissuade Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons -- especially because Iran has both the capability and potentially the desire to do so -- sets a precedent. It sends a message to other states that might be considering building a nuclear weapon that the international community will not tolerate proliferation. A deal proves that it is in the interests of even historically isolated nations to come to the table rather than pursuing a nuclear weapon.
First Iran, then the world
A deal with Iran is a step toward global zero -- a world without nuclear weapons. It’s a clear example of what can be achieved through multilateral leadership, hard-fought diplomacy and international pressure.
For years, skeptics of nuclear disarmament have insisted that so-called “rogue states” like Iran would never give up their pursuit of nuclear weapons. They argue that nuclear proliferation in these cases cannot be halted, and that other nuclear states must maintain their arsenals to protect themselves. A verifiable deal between international negotiators and Iran will prove them wrong once and for all.
With this obstacle out of the way, the international community can and should recommit to the elimination of all nuclear weapons.
Nuclear weapons are one of the most urgent humanitarian challenges of our time, and a deal with Iran would be a huge step in the right direction -- towards the elimination of all nuclear weapons. Add your name today to say you support a nuclear deal with Iran.