Although different in many ways, both are rogue nations.
Neither can be trusted.
In the case of North Korea, negotiations that resulted in “humanitarian” aid and relief from sanctions led to continued development and testing of nuclear weapons and delivery systems. Iranian descendants of Persian rug merchants have more sophisticated negotiating strategies and the outcome there is likely to be worse rather than better.
A November 13th article at The Diplomat ends with this observation:
not only is Iran not North Korea, but the North Korea case strongly suggests that engagement can produce results, while additional sanctions during this engagement will scuttle those talks. Contrary to what right-wing pundits in the U.S. claim, the Bush administration’s hardline policies are more to blame for North Korea’s nuclear status than are the more conciliatory policies of the Clinton administration.
Let’s not make the same mistake with Iran.
An essential basis for this conclusion is that North Korea is isolated from much of the rest of the world and Iran is not.
The extent to which Iran is isolated from the wider world — which tends to be greatly exaggerated in the U.S. — is entirely unnatural and ahistorical. After a decade of trying to fight the forces of history and geography, the leaders of the Islamic Republic realized by the 1990s that Iran simply couldn’t be a reclusive state.
Iran has since sought to integrate fully into the international community, and has largely succeeded save for its continued antagonistic relationship with the United States. This antagonistic relationship with the United States is where the similarities between Iran and North Korea begin and end.
Iran has sought to “integrate fully into the international community” by being a world-class exporter of Islamic terrorism and partnering with other rogue nations — including North Korea. Unlike North Korea, Iran has petroleum in sufficient abundance to sell on the world market. Iran has difficulties in doing so due to sanctions. Conseqently, many Iranians need to live quite frugally, although better than the average North Korean serf. Sanctions — coupled with regime diversion of limited financial and other resources to nuclear weapons development — have exacerbated the plight of those other than the elites of both nations. Iran has also provided financial and other support to other rogue nations while North Korea’s military, the North Korean People’s Army, is the largest military organization on earth.
Please do think about The Diplomat article. It appears to be a classic example of “U.S. (and Particularly the Bush Administration) bad; North Korea and Iran wrongfully put upon.” It barely notes in passing that North Korea consistently promised to cease development and production of nuclear weapons and missiles with which to deliver them in exchange for “humanitarian relief” and diminished sanctions. Upon grant of both by the United States and others, North Korea consistently resumed her missile and nuclear activities. She is currently thought to be prepared for additional testing of her nuclear devices.
In a March 13, 2013 article title China, Iran and North Korea — a radioactive stew I noted,
North Korea has some [nuclear weapons] and has tested three of which we know. She also has, and has tested with eventual success, a satellite launch mechanism capable of terrestrial use as an intercontinental ballistic missile. Sanctions were applied in response to both, without evident success in limiting further efforts along comparable lines.
Cooperation between North Korea and Iran in both areas has been on-going for several years and they recently signed a formal agreement on exchange of the relevant technologies, equipment and materials.
. . . .
Meanwhile, we continue to diddle around with Iran. Preliminary discussions have been held and an Iranian “technical working group” is preparing for lower lever meetings to follow.
Financial and other sanctions have harmed nearly every aspect of Iranian life — except the development of the nuclear weaponry at which they have been directed. The results suggest a high degree of naïveté on the part of the Western negotiators, and superior negotiating prowess on the part of the Iranians, who spring from long lines of Persian rug merchants. If negotiations had been held with starving Iranians instead, the results might well have been different; they were not and have not been. Neither, for that matter have our negotiations with North Korea over food and humanitarian relief for starving North Koreans involved starving North Koreans, who just conceivably might prefer a little more rice and perhaps even an occasional morsel of meat rather than the greater glory and deification of (the current) Dear Leader Kim and continued dominance of his regency. [Emphasis added.]
According to [a March 3, 2013 article by] Reza Kahlili, the pseudonym of a former CIA operative in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards,
Now that negotiations over Iran’s illicit nuclear program have concluded, the Islamic regime is positive the West will start easing sanctions, not because Iran will halt its nuclear activity, but rather owing to a belief that the West has reached the end of its ability to pressure the regime.
As I’ve written several times over the years, Iran has long thought that the West, particularly America, will do everything it can to avoid a military confrontation, leaving negotiations and sanctions as the West’s only options. It thinks that eventually the West will realize that Iran’s nuclear program cannot be stopped and, therefore, will look for a way out of this dilemma by reducing sanctions and finally accepting a nuclear-armed Iran.
. . . .
One might wonder why a nation that can produce lots of oil needs uranium to generate electricity; perhaps they believe the warnings of St. Al the Gored about cataclysmic climate change and just want to do their own little part to make the horrors stop. One might also wonder why a nation that can no longer feed her own people needs to develop radioactive isotopes for medical research. If a top Iranian gets cancer, there is always Cuban medical care, apparently the best in the world, as the now deceased el Presidente Chávez may have mumbled as his (inaudible beyond “Please help me; I don’t want to die) dying words.
. . . .
The main thing that puzzles me is why we continue to focus on Iran’s uranium enrichment. Is Iran (again) playing us for suckers? North Korea is fully capable of enriching uranium for Iran (or for anyone else) and would doubtless be happy to enrich as much as may be desired in exchange for the hard currency freely available to Iran if it were only to cease its own enrichment. North Korea needs the money and is not likely very particular about its sources. Just as our sanctions have not impacted Iran’s enrichment capabilities significantly, neither have they impacted those of North Korea. Perhaps we may awaken before it’s too late and notice Iran playing its Korean hole card in our high-stakes poker game.
The Iran – North Korea analogy that The Diplomat disputes seems substantially more valid than The Diplomat’s analysis.
Even if that were not clear before, this piece from DebkaFile suggests that Iran now demands additional concessions.
The US and Russian presidents after bringing all their weight to bear on Tehran have failed to gain an inch toward a possible deal at the resumed nuclear talks in Geneva Wednesday Nov. 20, after being blocked by hardliners at the Iranian end. Tuesday, Kayhan, the mouthpiece of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards, ran an article telling Foreign Minister Javad Zarif he should not go to Geneva at all.
debkafile’s Iranian sources reveal the red lines with which the Iranian delegation to the talks has been armed for accepting an interim deal with the six powers on their nuclear program:
1) Iran will not shut down its underground enrichment plant at Fordo.
2) Work on building the Arak heavy water reactor will not be halted.
3) Iran will not allow the export of a single gram of its enriched uranium from the country.
4) Iran will not sign the Additional Protocol of the Non-Proliferation Treaty which expands international supervision of its nuclear program and permits snap inspections. [Emphasis added.]
That the radicals are calling the shots in Tehran was obvious to every Iranian from the large blow-ups of the intransigent ex-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad adorning Tehran newspapers in the last couple of days. President Hassan Rouhani may be elected president, but his campaign of smiles to the West has been superseded by the radical nuclear line espoused by the man he defeated at the polls. Ahmadinejad is riding high again in Tehran.
. . . .
Given the political balance in Tehran – which debkafile began covering in exclusive reports Monday – it is hard to see a deal coming out of Geneva, unless President Barack Obama accepts the four Iranian noes and gives the radical rulers of the Islamic Republic a major success.
Is Debkafile trustworthy? Compared to nearly anything coming from the OmabaAdministration, I think it is.
That the ObamaAdministration might accept the alternative noted in the last paragraph of the excerpt is supported by this article from Israel Hayom titled The Iran – Obamacare Connection, which substantially agrees with my November 17th analysis in an article titled Obama Lied Repeatedly; Librulism is in Intensive Care with Cancelled Insurance.
The Israel Hayom article states,
Israel is currently caught in the middle of a dynamic in which policy that impacts Israel seems to be determined by the problems experienced by the Obama administration on other fronts in the United States. [Emphasis in original.]
Most directly, the policy issue that seems to be weighing over all others for the Obama administration is the colossal failure of the rollout of its health care reform bill, the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare.
This bill, often characterized as the signature achievement of the president’s first term, was never popular — from the time it was working its way through House and Senate Committees in 2009, to when a final version of the bill was voted on in early 2010, and right through to the date when the website to allow online enrollment on the new exchanges occurred on Oct. 1. Things have now fallen apart for the administration in two significant ways over the last six weeks.
. . . .
The one area other than health care where the administration now seems engaged is a sudden zeal to reach a deal with Iran over its nuclear program. For 34 years since Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini seized control of Iran and Americans in the U.S. embassy were taken hostage, relations between the two countries have been poor. A deal on Iran’s nuclear program would be paraded by the president as evidence of his ability to successfully wage diplomacy, far better than the former president waged war. The inevitable parade of events to showcase an agreement, would change the subject for a period of time from Obama’s dishonesty and incompetence with Obamacare. [Emphasis added.]
My November 17th article suggested,
Let’s look briefly at the problem of nukes, which Iran is well on the way to getting. President Obama’s principal motivation appears to be a concern that He absolutely has to get a deal — any deal will do — to regain at least some glory domestically and perhaps retain control of the Senate. It’s
turtlespolitics all the way down and the national interest and security of the United States have little if anything to do with it.
My linked article also offered support, with links, for that thesis.
The security of the United States should not be ignored in favor of an attempt to rehabilitate President Obama as a strong, decisive and competent leader, which He is not. Neither should the security of our few remaining allies in the Middle East. We must not allow His, or Iran’s, con job to overwhelm us.
Iran is doing an even better job of conning the world, as to far more important matters, than the flotilla participants were able — or even attempted — to do.
In the “for what it’s worth department,” Rasmussen today reported that
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Tuesday shows that 43% of Likely U.S. Voters approve of President Obama’s job performance. Fifty-five percent (55%) disapprove (see trends).
The latest figures include 20% who Strongly Approve of the way Obama is performing as president and 43% who Strongly Disapprove. This gives him a Presidential Approval Index rating of -23.
Results are updated daily at 9:30 a.m. Eastern (sign up for free daily e-mail update).
Republicans have rebounded from a seven-point deficit a month ago to take a one-point lead over Democrats – 40% to 39% – on the latest Generic Congressional Ballot.
Fifty-eight percent (58%) of voters have an unfavorable opinion of the new national health care law. That’s up five points from a month ago and the highest finding in regular surveying since early January.
President Obama’s foreign policy blunders probably have little to do with the drop. However, His continuing popularity decline may induce Him to screw up America’s foreign policy even more. Of that, at least, He is a master.