Jeffrey LewisSequencing Crises in Iran and North Korea

Ever notice that, in Kung Fu movies, some larger number of bad guys will stand around in a circle, allowing the hero to kick their asses one-by-one?

Outside of cinema, such accomodation by adversaries is rare. Yet, this seems to be happening with regard to impending crises in Iran and North Korea.

Iranian officials are indicating that Tehran expects a deal within “months, not years” according to Hassan Rowhani, Secretary-general of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council. Former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani told IRNA that Iran’s suspension of enrichment would last for “a maximum six-month period.

At the same time Iran is pressing for a solution now, North Korea seems supremely patient. According to wire reports, a North Korean spokesman told reporters that “the second Bush administration has not yet emerged, we would like to wait a bit longer to follow with patience what … policy it will shape.”

Pyongyang might be awaiting the outcome of the Iran-EU-3 negotiations, raising the possibility that any settlement with Iran will immediately become a model for North Korea. If the U.S. intervenes to scupper the EU-Iran negotiations, Pyongyang may well conclude the United States is not serious about reaching a compromise with which both sides can live.

Sadly, the Bush Administration seems more interested in ousting IAEA Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei than playing a constructive role with regard to Iran’s nuclear program.

More on that in a couple of hours …


  1. Jeremy (History)

    Yeah, but look at the picture…most of those guys are white belts! There are only two black belts left standing—the other guys aren’t going to just volunteer to get their shit ruined.