North Korea’s latest nuclear test has resulted in a familiar chorus of international condemnation. Surprisingly, the only meaningful change in rhetoric has come from the regime itself. Pyongyang now implies its nuclear programme is no longer up for negotiation.
Ayatollah Khamenei has firmly rejected the prospect of direct US-Iran talks, but his remarks should be read in the context of Iran's fractured domestic politics. Iran's talks with the P5+1 must progress first.
The US President visits the Gulf amidst heightened tension between the United States and Iran. But the latest episode in the Straits of Hormuz only underlines the wariness towards both countries by Gulf Arab States.
An analysis of the means the US should employ in its policy towards Iran's nuclear ambitions. A combination of sticks, carrots and diplomacy might serve Washington's aims better than sanctions and rhetorical brinksmanship.