Iran Sanctions Are Unfair
The U.S. vs Iran 


Claim No.1

We Should not Treat Iran Like North Korea

Osamu Miyata

Executive director at the Center for Contemporary Islamic Studies in Japan (CCISJ)
Born in 1955 in Yamanashi prefecture, Miyata studied at Keio University and UCLA. He specializes in contemporary Islamic politics and Islamic political history. He has numerous publications in Japanese.

The Iran situation began escalating after the Trump administration withdrew from the Nuclear Deal. The Deal promised that the U.S. would lift sanctions on Iran as long as Iran followed the agreements. Iran had been faithfully following the agreements until May, so the U.S. should be legally bound to keep the sanctions lifted.

Iran is not at all like North Korea. Iran might be authoritarian, but they have elections and are far more open than North Korea. Liberalization is underway, and there are a high percentage of educated women. A lot of things will change once the younger generation takes political leadership.

Many of the people in Iran are friendly and have self-respect. Only a few people are extremists like the Revolutionary Guard. In fact a large number of them are moderates, like President Rouhani and former President Khatami.


Claim No.2

The U.S. Is Being Unfair

The pro-Israel advocacy groups, Evangelicals, and the Military-industrial complex that are backing Trump want to strike Iran. Trump has accepted their demands, especially as a means of securing support in the presidential elections next year.

But many people in Iran are furious that the U.S. is prohibiting Iran from holding nuclear weapons while allowing Israel to: that there is an unfair double standard at play.

There is also a possibility that the Trump administration will compromise in their North Korean negotiations with a weapons freeze, which would still leave enriched uranium and plutonium in their hands.

On the other hand, the U.S. won’t even allow Iran to have enriched uranium. Iran only has low enriched uranium, which is nowhere near nuclear enough to be dangerous.

Trump is allowing North Korea to have their way while reinforcing sanctions on Iran notwithstanding the fact that they were faithfully following the Deal. I think this is unfair.

That being said, I don’t think we should let Iran hold nuclear weapons. There isn’t enough order in the Middle East, so it would be very dangerous if Iran had nuclear weapons. Iran may find the idea repulsive, but sticking to the Nuclear Deal and showing the international community how much the U.S. bullies them, is a better way to gain global support.

The problem is, Iran places great importance on honor, so they don’t want to show their weakness. They’ll resist the U.S. until the very end, and might bring about the possibility of war. It is a very dangerous time.


Claim No.3

Japan Should Bring the Different Civilizations Together

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is supportive of the Nuclear Deal and has called for the peaceful coexistence of Israel and Palestine. I think this is great.

But he needs to be more politically influential and really take on the role of loosening the tension between Iran and the U.S. Iran generally likes Japan, but also thinks we are America’s servants.

Iran is internationally isolated, so they want Japan to do something about it. Abe should talk to the 5 countries still in the Nuclear Deal (the U.K., France, Germany, Russia and China) and find ways of helping Iran.

The monotheistic religions are different branches of the same tree. It began with Judaism, and Christianity emerged as a reform movement within it, and Christianity heavily influenced the founding of Islam. Each of these religions preaches peace.

I don’t know much about religion, but I agree with the Catholic Pope’s ideas of world harmony. Japanese religions are harmonious. From this stance we should work to bring the different civilizations together.




Iran and North Korea Are Radically Different

  Iran North Korea
Uranium in Possession Low enriched uranium at 4.5% enrichment (as of 19 July)
(Not capable of creating nuclear weapons)
Enriched uranium at 95% enrichment
(Capable of creating nuclear weapons)
Political System An Islamic Republic with a Religious Leader at the Top Absolute Autocracy
Overseas Travel for Civilians Relatively Free Almost Impossible
Information Internet Access Authorized (albeit with restrictions) Information Censorship
Culture Freedom of Speech
Iranian films are being internationally recognized
Korea: No Freedom of Speech
Has Only 1 TV Channel
Levels of Freedom Murder and Rape are Crimes
Sufficient Consideration for Human Right (e.g. theft and molestation are punishable by severing hands.)
Freedom is Spreading (e.g. the introduction of colorful hijabs.)
They Conduct Public Executions
Prohibitions of Watching Foreign Films and International Phone Calls
Not Allowed to Speak About Your Own Opinions
(The Iran sections have been written based on Mr. Miyata’s interview)
Iran Sanctions Are Unfair
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