In an attempt to curb Iran’s nuclear program, France, Germany, and Britain persuaded Tehran to abandon its nuclear ambitions in exchange for peaceful civilian energy programs. Under the deal, Iran was to disclose its past nuclear activities, stop enrichment, and ratify additional protocol to the NPT. Tehran accepted the deal and signed the additional NPT protocol in December 2003. It also suspended uranium enrichment in November 2004 in exchange for aid and renewed trade talks. Because the deal appeared to work, America responded by dropping objections on Tehran’s efforts of joining the World Trade Organization. However, in 2005, the agreement broke down following the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (Katzman 23).
In 2005, Tehran breached the IAEA’s seals by resuming uranium conversion at its Esfahan facility. The move raised concerns about Tehran’s commitment to NPT and also security fears in the region. Because Tehran was no longer committed to the previous agreements, the issue became a great concern to the US. American indeed had some good reasons to worry about security threats from a nuclear-armed Iran. First, president Ahmadinejad pursued an aggressive foreign policy, which was a direct threat to the US interests and its allies in the Middle East. Second, Tehran has links with radical groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah, which it can use to attack the US. Third, there is a considerable risk that Iran could share its nuclear technology with Islamic extremists such as al-Qaeda. Lastly, Iran’s missiles pose a significant threat to the US forces, ships, and allies in the Gulf (Katzman 31).
Iran’s nuclear program is still prioritized in the US foreign policy because there is no permanent future deal in place. However, the lection of Hassan Rouhani raised hopes of a new nuclear deal that could limit Tehran’s capability to develop