Believe it or not there are only four countries in the world that do not have and maintain diplomatic relations with the United States. These countries include: Syria, North Korea, Iran, and Bhutan. Let’s look into the update with each of these countries and their standing with the United States.


Any kind of diplomatic relations between the United States and Syria officially ended in 2012. This is because of the Syrian Civil War. There are a few significant issues between the two countries. These issues include: the Iraq War, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the Golan Heights annexation. Click on the links to have these issues further explained. According to a poll conducted in 2012, from the US Global Leadership Report, 40% of the Syrian population still disapproves of any kind of relationship between Syria and the United States. On the upside, according to the same report, 29% of the Syrian population approve of United States’ leadership.

North Korea

Although relations became strained during the Korean War, in recent years, the hostility between the United States and North Korea has grown because North Korea has been creating long-range missiles. Missiles that have the ability of hitting targets thousands of miles away. With these missiles and their nuclear weapons, there have been multiple threats to strike South Korea and the United States. These threats have become more serious with North Korea’s multiple nuclear weapons tests and have increased the hostility between the two countries. Since the time of the Korean War, the United States has established a more heavy military presence in South Korea.

Islamic Republic of Iran

The United States and Iran decided to cut their diplomatic ties in 1980, but with an agreement of establishing an “interest sections.” Rather than having ambassadors in either country, the United States have maintained contact through this “interest section” held at the Swiss Embassy based in Tehran. And Iran has maintained and “interests section” at the Pakistani Embassy based in Washington, DC. The United States and Iran have used a buffer country as a protecting power in their capital. Both countries had to agree on a country who was equally friendly on both sides. It used to be Algeria, but since 1992 Pakistan has been serving as the protecting power.


There are currently no diplomatic relations between Bhutan and the Untied States. Despite the lack of diplomatic relations, the United States still maintains informal connections through its embassy based in New Delhi, India. The United States has helped many Bhutanese refugees relocate to United Nation refugee camps situated in Nepal.

Many presidents have worked to repair and establish these relations overtime. Since President Trump has been in office, he has visited with the North Korean President Kim Jung-Un. Read about it here. It is still amazing that the United States is in good standing with all other countries around the world.

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