Trump tears up ‘rotten’ Iran nuclear deal

Oh, bummer: The deal was one of the big achievements of Barack Obama’s presidency.

Should all nuclear weapons be banned? President Trump has decided to pull out of an agreement with Iran on its nuclear programme. Some are happy; others are fearing the worst.

What’s happening

Donald Trump has announced that the US will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal. The president had long promised to do so, calling the deal “rotten” and “one-sided”. For months, his European allies had tried to warn him against pulling out. They remain in the deal, which may survive without the US.

Find out more

For years, Iran was suspected of developing nuclear weapons. The country claimed that it only wanted nuclear energy, but in 2015 it agreed to scrap its technology. In return, other nations lifted sanctions, letting Iran do business with the world.

Iran has since tested non-nuclear missiles and funded terrorist groups. The deal does not stop these activities, as its critics point out. They also argue that Iran can restart its nuclear programme when the deal expires.

There are thought to be nine nuclear powers in the world, including the UK and the US. Most have signed a treaty that requires them to work toward disarmament. The treaty also bans other nations from acquiring nuclear weapons. Yet it is often ignored.

What can be done?

Some say…

Simple: all nations must ban nuclear weapons, and the nuclear powers must disarm at once. These weapons are so destructive that, if they were used, we would all lose. The current treaty is not strict enough. With an outright ban in place, the world would feel a lot safer, and political headaches like the Iran nuclear deal would not need to exist.

Others think…

Dream on. If countries ignore the current treaty, why would they respect a complete ban? If anything, with our nuclear weapons we can threaten other nations into obeying us. Iran will never try to develop its own weapons, as it will fear a counter-attack from us. It sounds strange, but holding on to a few weapons actually helps to keep world peace.

You Decide

  1. Could it ever be OK to use a nuclear weapon?

Activities

  1. Do nuclear powers have the right to stop other countries from getting nuclear weapons? Take it in turns to stand up and give your opinion.

Some People Say...

“No deal is better than a bad deal.”

Theresa May

What do you think?

Word Watch

Sanctions
Punishments imposed by one country on another for breaking international laws or agreements. The West placed restrictions on Iran’s trade.
Nuclear powers
Nations with nuclear weapons. They are the UK, US, France, Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea.
Treaty
An official agreement between countries. The one in question is the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
Disarmament
Getting rid of military forces and weapons.

Subjects

PDF Download

Please click on "Print view" at the top of the page to see a print friendly version of the article.