While it is often difficult to parse reasonable criticisms from Iran’s standard litany of anti-U.S. rhetoric, complaints that the United States is not upholding its end of the deal are not entirely unfounded. It has long been understood that the bulk of the new trade and investment that Iran could expect under the JCPOA would not come from the United States, given the extensive web of U.S. sanctions that would remain in place, but from Europe, Russia, and China.
Right now, the world’s attention is focused firmly on the negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program. But there is another country that deserves at least as much attention, if not more: North Korea. The hermit kingdom’s nuclear weapons program is looking more and more dangerous these days.
In a recent piece of nuclear news easily overshadowed by the Iran deal, teh Center for Public Integrity (CPI) highlighted new information about South Africa’s refusal to give up six bombs worth of weapons-grade uranium. In 2011 and agian in 2013, President Obama wrote letters to South African President Jacob Zuma asking him to relinquish the country’s highly-enriched uranium, to blend it down to low-enriched uranium (LEU), or to transfer it to the United States in exchang for $5 million worth of LEU. President Zuma refused.
There are currently five NWFZs, which have been bound by international treaties signed by all states in those respective regions. The idea of a Middle East NWFZ has been around for nearly forty years, when Iran first proposed it in 1974.