Former Iranian ambassador to North Korea Saeed Mohammadi says Tehran has advised Pyongyang that increasing tension in the region is not in anyone’s interest.
In an exclusive interview with Iran’sView, Mohammadi said in reaction to increasing economic problems and provocations from the U.S., North Korea is pursuing a strategy of ‘walking on the edge’ to have the U.S ease its pressures against the country.
“Constant economic and military threats, especially the US.-South Korean annual military drills only help to provoke North Korea and create more anger.”
“There is always the risk that N.Korea goes out of control, even though China has done its best to prevent a possible regional war,” he said.
An ongoing escalation of tensions between North Korea, South Korea and the United States began following North Korea’s launch of its Kwangmyŏngsŏng-3 Unit 2 satellite on December 12, 2012, and latest round of US.-South Korean joint military drill in the peninsula. The crisis is marked by extreme escalation of rhetoric by the new North Korean administration under Kim Jong-un and its threats to attacks against South Korea and the United States with nuclear weapons.
In comparing the N.Korean situation to Iran’s, Mohammadi said N Korea’s case is completely different from Iran’s. “North Korea is not a signatory to the NPT and is armed with atomic bombs. The country is highly isolated while Iran, thanks to its geopolitical and cultural advantages, doesn’t need nuclear weapons as a deterrence tool.”
“Tehran and Pyongyang have had warm and constant relations during the last three decades and have cooperated on many scientific and economic fronts, but the policy of the two countries on the nuclear issue is different and Iran has never even wished for an atomic bomb,” Mohammadi said.
Mohammadi accused the U.S. of “pursuing provocative policies in the region and benefiting from tensions which seek to preserve its military presence in the region.”
“Hardening sanctions against N Korea despite promises that the US. made in the six party negotiations is a failure. The same story is true about talks with Iran,” he said. Adding Iran’s nuclear negotiations were close to a solution when a fuel-swap deal was signed by Iran, Turkey and Brazil.
“Although the deal could have been a solution for the US. the country rejected it and Iran had to continue its program, producing 20% enriched uranium to meet its medical needs.”
Iran–North Korea’s diplomatic relations picked up following the Iranian Revolution in 1979 and the establishment of an Islamic Republic. Iran and North Korea pledge cooperation in educational, scientific, and cultural spheres.
After Iraq’s Saddam Hussein invasion of Iran, backed by the U.S, North Korea became one of Iran’s main weapons suppliers.