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How to deal with the Islamic Republic

18 0 0
13.08.2019

Tokyo has been overwhelmed by yet another media frenzy since mid-July when the United States officially requested a “maritime coalition” to protect commercial shipping in waters off Iran, including the potentially explosive Strait of Hormuz. How should Japan deal with issues involving Iran these days?

People always say Tokyo has “traditionally friendly” ties with Tehran. Is that true? I am not sure about that. Iran was very friendly to Japan before 1978, for sure. The Islamic republic of Iran now is important to Japan, but bilateral relations have been delicate at best. In particular, the Iran nuclear deal of 2015 was disappointing.

What was agreed upon is fine. The P5 plus 1 — the United Nations Security Council’s five permanent members and Germany — claimed that Iran’s nuclear development programs would be significantly limited for the next eight to 15 years. What wasn’t settled in the nuclear deal, however, is what really annoys me.

At that time, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry proudly declared that the “breakout time, now only a few months, would be extended to more than a year” but I remained very skeptical. Iran had never given up its nuclear weapons-related technologies and facilities. The P5 1 could not avert the moment of truth — it just postponed it by a decade or so.

It was also unclear whether Tehran really agreed that all its nuclear-related military facilities would be subject to International Atomic Energy Agency inspections. Haven’t we heard something similar before? There was no........

© The Japan Times