Most commentary about the nuclear deal with Iran focuses on the implications for the region and U.S. allies in the Middle East and Europe. But it also removes a thorn in the side of the U.S.-Japan relationship. Tokyo’s role as a major importer of Iranian oil meant its cooperation was a key piece of the sanctions campaign against Tehran. Yet that cooperation did not come easy: it required repeated U.S. pressure and was a consistent cold spot in an otherwise warm U.S.-Japan relationship.
The author argues that while there are hopes that the Iran nuclear deal could add momentum towards negotiations to create a similar agreement with North Korea, the two countries and their nuclear programs are too dissimilar for there to be many parallels.
The recent deal between the P5+1 and Iran over the latter’s nuclear program means, reportedly, that Iran will once again be on the market for advanced weapons technology, and that (eventually) it will have money to spend.
India’s decision to walk out of step with the international community on Iran isn’t just a slap in the face for the U.S. – it raises questions about its ability to lead. The Indian government’s ill-advised statement last week that it will continue to purchase oil from Iran is a major setback for the U.S. attempt to isolate the Iranian government over the nuclear issue.