Multiple differences between Iran and North Korea agreement give more confidence that the Iran agreement will succeed
Iran and the DPRK—as countries—do share some attributes, including a pattern of violating international norms regarding nonproliferation, terrorism, and human rights. The agreements are also similar in certain ways. Like the Agreed Framework, the prospective arrangement with Iran will reward bad behavior to a degree. And animosity between the executive and legislative branches greatly complicates the prospect that the United States will live up to its side of an agreement with Iran. The U.S. Congress could take actions that could lead to Iranian brinksmanship within the nuclear domain as well as crises between the United States and its international partners. In the case of the DPRK, a similar combination of factors interrupted the United States’ fulfillment of terms and contributed to a series of minicrises.
But the two states and their societies differ in important ways, as do the Agreed Framework and the proposed deal with Iran. These differences combine to create much stronger incentives for Iran to fulfill a nuclear deal than existed for the DPRK. For instance, a final agreement with Iran will be vastly more comprehensive in its terms and verification provisions. Negotiated and backed by the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany (P5+1), and codified in a Security Council resolution, the Iran deal will, if completed, contain much stronger elements to deter cheating and more meaningful incentives to motivate compliance than the Agreed Framework did.