Iran Wasted No Time Capitalizing On North Korean Nuclear Brinksmanship

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REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl

Members of Iran's Basij militia

No one should be surprised that the nuclear talks in Kazakhstan  not only failed, but failed so hard that Iran is actually accelerating its nuclear program.

What's happening in North Korea is a warning to the West about the spread of nuclear technology — and an inspiration to Iran.

Carol J. Williams of the L.A. Times writes :

[W]ith threats of nuclear annihilation emanating daily from  North Korea , the international community’s latitude for making a compromising overture to Iran may be severely constrained.  Kim Jong Un ...  is likely to loom large as both a cautionary tale against letting a rogue state acquire nuclear weapons and an inspiration for Iranian leaders who would like to wield Kim’s menacing clout.

Kim Jong-Un recently said "the greater the nuclear attack capability, the greater the strength of the deterrent against an invasion.  Our nuclear strength is a reliable war deterrent and a guarantee to protect our sovereignty."

The late Muamar Ghaddafi also warned his Middle Eastern constituency against capitulating to the West's pressure at nuclear disarmament, saying disarmament is a preamble to invasion. Iran is not nearly as acerbic as North Korea, but it's possible that Iranian leaders wish to remain ambiguous in order to prevent any kind of preemptive military intervention — at least until they can finally develop nukes.

Then their talk may change.

“All of our friends and partners in the Middle East are probably watching how the situation is evolving with North Korea and imagining a nuclear Iran in the future,” Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia nonproliferation program at the Monterey Institute of International Studies told the L.A. Times.

Iran maintains that its nuclear program is not for weaponization. Regardless, it has opened two uranium mines, a yellowcake production plant, and a new nuclear nuclear power plant.

Quite the opposite of the desired intent behind the last week's talks.



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