The US administration pretends that its decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal with Iran is a radically new approach which may change the entire regional strategic equation, similar to the huge policy reversal towards China executed by President Nixon in the early 1970s. But the Trump White House will be disappointed; the comparisons with Nixon are misconceived.
Despite some vocal opposition, Barack Obama now has enough support in the US senate to ensure the Iran nuclear deal is approved. Domestic manoeuvring and foreign interventions characterise the president's success.
Mechanisms for dispute resolution and sanctions ‘snap back’ will be amongst the most important of the new Iran deal. They are also the most difficult to understand, and contain potentially problematic areas of ambiguity.
Until last week, the UK government’s position on terrorist-related kidnap-for-ransom (KfR) mirrored that of the United States: no payments and no concessions. But the result of a six month White House review of US hostage response has created a dilemma for the prime minister.