The realist perspective rationally and coherently accounts for the motives behind each country’s decision making during the Iran Nuclear Deal. Realists argue that imposing military force is one way to achieve hegemony for a state, and thus it is not a surprise that Iran, a marginalized country that has continually been in conflict with the United States, has developed nuclear weapons. Realists would argue that it is natural for Iran to develop means to protect themselves, especially since it is often in direct conflict with the United States and could hypothetically achieve hegemony if it used its force correctly.
The United States’ decisions in the Iran Nuclear Deal can also be explained from a realist perspective. After the Iran Nuclear Deal officially passed on July 14, 2015, Al Jazeera quoted Barack Obama when he stated, “This deal is not built on trust. It is built on verification” (Kutsch). As we can see through Obama’s rhetoric, the United States is not expecting Iran to uphold the deal based on pressures from social norms or moral obligation; instead, the United States chose to insert powerful components of the sanctions that would create forced accountability for Iran (Kutsch). Thus, one may deduce that, despite coming to an agreement, the United States still does not trust Iran due to the United States’s realist belief that every state is only looking out for himself.
Furthermore, examining the Iran Nuclear D...
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...tions and norms; however, this notion seems absurd, especially considering the millions of lives that could potentially be lost if Iran were to deviate from such norms and employ the nuclear bombs.
Ultimately, the Iran Nuclear Deal can be rationally analyzed from all three paradigms (realism, liberalism, and constructivism). Both liberalism and constructivism argue that the sanctions will pave way to a more stable future, but that seems unlikely for a country with Iran’s tumultuous past. Ultimately, after analyzing both Iran’s and the United States’s actions in the Iran Nuclear Deal, the merits of the realist perspective become clear. Nuclear weapons will continue to be the subject of debate among scholars, and the ongoing Iran Nuclear Deal will be an interesting case study on the effects that weapons of mass destruction have on states’ decision-making.
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