The Bush administration hopes its deal with North Korea will serve as a “template” for Iran, but convincing Tehran to abandon its nuclear program won’t be a walk in the park. Unlike North Korea, Iran has no use for energy aid and has managed to outmaneuver the U.S. in several regional conflicts.
The administration appears to have adopted a carrot-and-stick approach to Iran, hinting at military intervention while promoting the success of diplomacy with North Korea. So far, Iran has not flinched at Bush’s veiled threats and manages to derive internal and regional support from its antagonistic relationship with the United States.
The United States on Tuesday held out as a model for Iran a deal under which North Korea will take steps toward giving up nuclear arms, and analysts said it might bolster Iranians who favor talks with the West.
White House spokesman Tony Snow called the deal a “template,” but some analysts cautioned that the United States would have less leverage with Iran than with impoverished, communist North Korea.
Under an agreement struck in Beijing, Pyongyang will freeze the reactor at the heart of its nuclear program and allow inspections of the site. The pact could bring the impoverished communist state some $300 million in aid.