The Iran nuclear deal was signed in 2015 among 7 nations: Iran, America, France, Germany, UK, China and Russia. Under the deal, Iran must halt or freeze its nuclear program and the West has to remove economic sanctions from Iran.
The IAEA has confirmed that there is no any evidence of violations from the Iranian side. Even the US Congress has not confirmed any violation yet. However, the Israeli prime minister (Israel is not a signatory to this deal) gave a Power Point presentation and convinced the US president to withdraw from the deal. It was also promised by President Trump during its election campaign that he would withdraw from the Iran deal. Trump signed the withdrawal on May 8.
President Trump has also threatened to tighten economic sanctions on Iran. Sanctions were never effective in the past. It increases the suffering of common citizens. There exists many factions in Iranian politics, some of them are hardliners, some moderates and the rest liberals. However, not all of these factions are on the same page on their national agenda or nuclear policy. But sanctions will affect all of them equally. The other option might be military action, which can be even more disastrous. The Middle East has been suffering for the last several decades. If Iran is attacked, the victims will be Muslims.
On the other hand, Iran has announced it would remain committed with the other 5 states to the deal and will not develop nuclear weapons. The 5 signatories of the deal are also in favor of continuing the deal. But what will be the impact of the US withdrawal from the deal? If economic sanctions will be imposed, what will be impact? If Iran is attacked, again what will be the impact? There are many possibilities:
The Iran nuclear deal may not survive after the US withdrawal. It may open ways and reasons for Iran to restart its nuclear program, which is not desired at all.
US economic sanctions on Iran may worsen the domestic situation in Iran. It will also harm the regional economy and affect neighboring countries. Iran, being an energy-rich country, was meeting the energy requirements of the whole world, especially the Industrialized/ developed countries. Oil prices will rise sharply. It will harm the global economy, which is also not desired.
New alliances may emerge. The Cold War era may start again. History may be repeated.
The use of force will be even more disastrous and complicate the situation much more. It might spark World War III.
Another possibility, which the US may not like, is the other five countries might isolate the US, which would further strengthen the hardliners in Iran. It may also have a negative impact on the North Korea-US summit.
I believe that the UN and international community should exert pressure to avoid any disaster to humanity. Both sides must be cooled down and let diplomacy play its due role for a peaceful resolution of the issue.
The author is a Sinologist of National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad, Pakistan.