John Hughes on the Iran nuclear agreement

None of this bodes well should the U.S. try to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear arsenal, said John Hughes, a former State Department deputy director of economic sanctions. Imperfect as it may be, defenders of the Iran deal still view it as a sign of progress and a potential diplomatic model for Pyongyang to consider.

If North Korea is to even imagine a future non-proliferation agreement, it would need to trust the U.S. to be an honest broker.

"It's one thing if Iran is actually violating the deal," Hughes said. "But to all of a sudden walk away, without justification, [the U.S.] would be questioned by allies as to why they would be a reliable partner to anything. It would do lasting damage if the U.S. is seen as a country that cannot live up to our commitments."

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