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A Nuclear Crisis in Search of a Model: Lessons from Iraq, North Korea, Libya, and Syria

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A Nuclear Crisis in Search of a Model: Lessons from Iraq, North Korea, Libya, and Syria – Emily B. Landau
(Daily Alert)

(To read entire article, click on title above…Ed.)

To achieve nuclear rollback via negotiations, the international community will have to be armed with a considerable degree of leverage. The North Korean model demonstrates clearly what happens when a determined proliferator faces international negotiators that are devoid of any leverage for compelling it to reverse course in the nuclear realm.

    The experience of dealing with North Korea underscores the importance of the economic leverage that the P5+1 finally gained over Iran in 2012, following the set of strong and effective economic and financial sanctions that the U.S. and EU put in place. If this leverage is squandered in return for anything less than very significant nuclear concessions by Iran, the Iranian case will very likely begin looking more and more like North Korea, with the international community increasingly powerless to stop it.

    The lesson of Libya (2003) and Syria (2013) is that when pressure succeeds in forcing a state to actually make the decision to reverse course, it does not take years to finalize a deal. Indeed, the details can be worked out very quickly, and the process can begin almost immediately.

    Until Iran makes the strategic decision to reverse course in the nuclear realm, there is little chance that a true and lasting deal will be achieved. Keeping an eye firmly on the leverage is the only hope the P5+1 have to compel Iran to finally make that choice. 

The writer, a senior research associate at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) in Tel Aviv, is also director of its Arms Control and Regional Security Project. (Institute for National Security Studies)

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  • Published: 8 years ago on December 3, 2013
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