NEW PUBLICATION: Lessons in Nuclear Diplomacy from N. Korea to Iran
Strategic Perspectives 1
"Redefining Success: Applying Lessons in Nuclear Diplomacy from North Korea to Iran"
by Ferial Ara Saeed, Center for Strategic Research
This study attempts to draw lessons from two decades of efforts to alter the nuclear policies of North Korea and apply them to Iran. North Korea and Iran are very different states that share one critical similarity: decades of estrangement from the U.S. and the international community. They also play destabilizing roles in their respective regions and are catalysts for tactical and strategic changes in these regions. “Washington needs a more promising strategy,” the study argues, in order to achieve important short-term goals of improved nuclear transparency in North Korea and Iran, and of securing their vulnerable nuclear materials -- goals deemed critical to U.S. national security in the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review and the Quadrennial Defense Review. Current policy, however, focuses on the longer-term goal of denuclearization, which has allowed both states to advance their nuclear programs.
The study recommends a nuclear pause as a prelude to denuclearization, linked to a political/diplomatic strategy. This will help address the immediate security threat posed by the two nuclear standoffs, and potentially open up political space for more moderate behavior by both states. Over the short-term, therefore, the goal should be to manage the North Korean and Iranian nuclear standoffs, thereby improving prospects to resolve them over the long-term through denuclearization.
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