The New York Times ran an article under the headline “Iran and U.S. Agree on Path Back to Nuclear Deal,” reporting that the two nations “agreed to try to synchronize Washington’s lifting of sanctions and Iran’s limiting of uranium enrichment.” While welcoming the good news from Vienna, few in Tokyo seem to be optimistic.

As a student of Middle East politics since 1978, I am one of those skeptics in Japan. The Times wrote that Washington and Tehran had agreed through intermediaries to establish two separate working groups to try to get the two nations “back into compliance with the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.” I sincerely hope they eventually will.

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