Regional Pushback, Nuclear Rollback: A Comprehensive Strategy for an Iran in Turmoil

(Washington Institute for Near East Policy) Michael Eisenstadt - The U.S. must show - by word and deed - that it will no longer ignore provocations that it accepted in the past (e.g., harassment of U.S. naval forces in the Gulf) and that it is more risk acceptant in its dealings with Iran than in the past. The intent should be to induce caution in an increasingly assertive yet still fundamentally risk-averse Iran, in order to contain its regional influence. This will not only reduce the prospects of a regional conflict involving Iran, but could cause Iran to act with greater caution in the nuclear realm. Restoring U.S. credibility is best accomplished by consistent actions over time that demonstrate American resolve and commitment, including, inter alia: pushing back on Iranian naval harassment in the Persian Gulf; interdicting Iranian arms shipments to its proxies and partners; supporting action by regional allies against Iranian weapons factories being built in Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen; committing to a long-term security-assistance relationship with Iraq; supporting remaining non-Salafi rebel forces in Syria in order to deny pro-regime forces a clear-cut victory and deter new regime offensives; and using all the instruments of national power to impose political, economic, and military costs on Tehran. The writer is director of the Military and Security Studies Program at The Washington Institute.

2018-01-12 00:00:00

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