Whether the transgression was its human rights violations, wars in neighboring countries, or the arrest of dual-national Iranians, U.S. policy was blamed. The opium trade was attributed to Afghanistan. U.S. sanctions were blamed for the miserable economic conditions.
Recently, an editorial by Reza Marashi of the NIAC appeared in Haaretz, which warned the U.S. from using the North Korean threat as a tie-in to Iran. “First, conflating Pyongyang and Tehran is troublesome for an obvious reason: One has the bomb, and the other does not,” wrote Marashi.
President Hassan Rouhani told Iranian lawmakers this week that Iran could walk away from the nuclear deal and restart its nuclear program in a “matter of hours” and bring a weapon to fruition in short order, although, according to the Iran lobby, the gap between North Korea’s and Iran’s nuclear capabilities was supposedly to be years apart. Marashi claims that American policies in confronting other regimes with nuclear ambitions, such as Libya and Iraq, have motivated the Iranian regime to work harder to build their nuclear program.
Marashi also ties the Trump administration’s decision to kill the Transpacific trade deal and pull out of the Paris climate change agreements to Iran’s mistrust of the U.S. on the nuclear deal, and says that the North Korea deal was doomed to failure, because the U.S. had no intention of allowing North Korea to develop a nuclear capability. He claims that this makes Iran believe the U.S. is similarly disingenuous with its deal. Marashi wrote, “If Trump corrects course and fully implements Washington’s JCPOA obligations, the risk of Tehran pursuing Pyongyang’s path is slim to none. The longer he continues violating the terms of the deal, the more likely it becomes that Iran resumes systemically advancing the technical aspects of its nuclear program – without the unprecedented, state-of-the-art monitoring and verification regime currently in place.”
The “state-of-the-art monitoring” Marashi cites is not actually meaningful monitoring. The nuclear deal’s agreement prohibits international inspectors from accessing many of Iran’s military bases and allows collection of soil samples only after extensive scrubbing and removal of topsoil, which is then handed over to inspectors by Iranians.
Still, most importantly, the connection between Iran and North Korea is the missiles. North Korea escalated Iran’s ballistic missile program by licensing its technology and providing upgrades, improvements and technical advice.
North Korea now has powerful missiles that are capable of reaching the U.S. mainland.
Iran and North Korean exchange technical data, and news reports of the potential for Iranian scientists working in North Korea to learn its manufacturing processes for building nuclear warheads for its missiles are increasing.