THE UNITED STATES FINALLY HAS AN AGGRESSIVE PLAN TO DEFANG IRAN
May 24, 2018 | By Ray Takeyh, Mark Dubowitz
Ask the Lord to empower our leaders to do the right thing in regards to policy response toward Iran.
“For he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.”
Ever since President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the Iran nuclear deal earlier this month, the commentariat has been aghast at the lack of a new plan. Critics said that the administration was all instinct and no insight, and that coercion without purpose was its only strategy. On Monday, in one of the most important speeches on Iran ever delivered by a secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, in his first major policy address since taking the role, put that criticism to rest as he laid out an aggressive plan for defanging the theocratic regime. The United States today has a strategy, one that is expansive in its ambitions, justified in its tactics, and judicious in its assessments of Iran.
Pompeo’s most impressive intellectual breakthrough was to transcend the paradigm that has guided Washington’s Iran policy for nearly two decades. For too long, a peculiar consensus has suggested that it is possible to isolate the nuclear issue from all other areas of contention and resolve it in a satisfactory manner. The subsidiary theme embedded in this logic is that despite the bluster of Iran’s rulers, it is governed by cautious men, who if offered sufficient incentives and soothing language would respond with pragmatism. No one embraced this notion more ardently than former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who crafted an accord whose deficiencies are apparent to all but the most hardened partisans….
The speech is likely to upset the arms controllers — a category of analysts who believe that all problems are mere technical disagreements and all solutions can be detected by the right physics formula. “Iran must stop uranium enrichment and never pursue plutonium reprocessing,” Pompeo said. Critics might say that this is an impractical diversion from a prudent course laid out in the Iran nuclear deal. In fact, the speech is a necessary correction of the deal’s radical departure from five decades of counterproliferation norms that have guided successive U.S. administrations….
Those who discuss geopolitics and nuclear fusion often forget that the primary victims of the theocracy are Iranians.
Too often, Western policymakers look at the ongoing struggle for freedom in Iran as episodes of protest that inevitably die down. In one of the most memorable passages of the speech, Pompeo, quoting Trump, said, “We stand in total solidarity with the Iranian regime’s longest-suffering victims: its own people. The citizens of Iran have paid a heavy price for the violence and extremism of their leaders. The Iranian people long to reclaim their country’s proud history, its culture, its civilization, its cooperation with its neighbors.” Iran is not the sturdy, stable government that its enablers like to depict. It is a regime that has forfeited its legitimacy, is drowning in corruption, and rests its power on security organs that it fears will prove unreliable in a crunch….
On Monday, Pompeo laid out an impressive strategy, which is sure to face criticism in the echo chamber. All arms control agreements create their own constituency, and the Iran nuclear deal has a powerful one in the form of those in the United States for whom this was the only Obama foreign-policy legacy that they could try to defend with a straight face…. (Excerpts from Ray Takeyh, Mark Dubowitz from article in Foreign Policy)