Friday, January 22, 2016

Relationship Test

Just to go back to the Iran-U.S. prisoner exchange earlier this week, I don't think that, on its own, is a clear sign that relations with Iran have improved at all. The prompt release of the naval personnel detained in the Persian Gulf was such a sign. But in the long run the real test whether Iran and the U.S. have a new relationship following the nuclear deal will be whether Iran stops arresting Americans (especially Iranian-Americans) on trumped-up charges. If that stops happening, then the nuclear deal could be viewed as the starting point in a real change in relations. If, on the other hand, Iran continues to arrest Americans for silly reasons, then the nuclear deal is just a nuclear deal and nothing more.