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Romney: Obama Shouldn't Negotiate With Iran

On Friday, Mitt Romney penned a USA Today op-ed challenging President Obama to walk away from the Iran nuclear talks. Romney used the nuclear-armed North Korea as an example. He believes that any agreement would inevitably lead to Iran obtaining nuclear weapons.

The heart of Romney's argument deals with his belief that both Iran and North Korea's leaders are irrational and cannot be trusted to abide by the same rules that western lawmakers follow. He wrote, “Agreements with tyrants and fanatics have very short shelf lives." Romney pointed to the collapse of the 1994 Agreed Framework, which required North Korea to dismantle its nuclear capabilities in exchange for fuel oil and light water reactors from the U.S. The 1994 agreement collapsed in 2002, but Romney acknowledged that North Korea's nuclear program dealt with significant setbacks during its eight-year lifespan. Recent studies project that it will take North Korea at least until 2020 to develop enough fissile material for 100 weapons.

Former Governor of New Mexico Bill Richardson who participated in the North Korea negotiations responded by saying, “I don’t buy into the premise that all rogue regimes are the same. This is apples and oranges." Kelsey Davenport, director for nonproliferation policy at the Arms Control Association said, “Iran views the U.N. Security Council sanctions on its country as a stigma -- as an illegal act that they want to see undone. North Korea, on the other hand, often takes pride in being sort of the pariah of the international community. There is much more of an incentive for countries who want to remain part of the global order to negotiate." It remains to be seen whether negotiations will be successful or not.

Photo: WBUR

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