Japan as Iran Mediator?

If you’re not already reading Laura Rozen every day, I suggest you start doing so. The latest good reason being this story, on the behind-the-scenes role that Japan has been playing in working out an offshore fuel swap agreement for Iran’s medical nuclear reactor.

The interesting aspect here is that the “Japan model” — or the technical mastery of all the separate components of a nuclear weapon capacity without the actual bomb — has often been mentioned as one interpretation of Tehran’s political objective. So long as Washington and its partners (notably France) ruled out the possibility of domestic Iranian enrichment activity, it was not an acceptable solution to the standoff over Iran’s nuclear program. It will be interesting to see whether the involvement of Japan, should it deliver results, does anything to advance the West’s acceptance of the Japan Model.