Lessons

Can Iran and the U.S. Negotiate?

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Participants in Friday Prayers in Tehran frequently chant "Death to America." Image by Reese Erlich. Iran, 2015.

This lesson is written as a series of notes for the facilitator.

Educator Notes: 

Objective:

Students will analyze both sides of the mistrust between Iran and the US and will create their own informed opinions of the nuclear negotiations.

Warm-up:

Discuss the American debate over whether to approve the Vienna Nuclear Accords. This source could be used as a simplified summary. (Start with the section “7.02 am Summary.”) Within this article there are links to the Republican opposition and Democratic support. There are also links to statements from Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Ask students their opinions of the settlement and have them challenge each other’s opinions.

Introducing the Lesson:

This lesson will require a little previous knowledge pertaining to Iran’s relationship with Hezbollah, the war in Syria, the Vienna Nuclear Accords and Iran’s concerns over the US being involved in Israel, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iraq and Afghanistan. These concepts could be defined by the teacher before the reading if these ideas have not been discussed before.

The lesson will analyze whether either side trusts the other in keeping their promises and if this should affect either side’s acceptance of the deal.

Activity:

First students read "What Does ‘Death to America’ Really Mean?"

Conclusion:

Students have now read the differing views in America on this deal and have read how neither side trusts the other. Ask the class to discuss whether this mistrust will affect the settlement’s success and how they believe Congress should vote.

To apply this knowledge and to take action, require students as homework to e-mail a politician (Senator, House Representative or The President) voicing their opinion on how the nation should proceed. The e-mail should summarize the student’s understanding of the situation and then propose what the student believes the correct policy should be.

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