Iran's Double-Edged Sword

(Foreign Policy) Michael Singh - Whether using the Quds Force - described by the U.S. Department of State as "the regime's primary mechanism for cultivating and supporting terrorists abroad" - or proxies such as Hizbullah, the Iranian regime since its founding in 1979 has sought to project its power and influence far afield, often with lethal results. Recent revelations of Iranian arms smuggling in Nigeria are not an isolated incident, but part of a consistent strategy utilizing terrorism, intimidation, and destabilization to enhance the regime's power and influence. As the U.S. and its allies try to restart negotiations with Iran, the regime's support for terrorism and other troubling activities counsel vigilance and realism. Even as Western officials seek new points of pressure and avenues for outreach to bring Iran to the negotiating table, existing sanctions designed to constrain Iran's ability to sow violence and instability beyond its borders must be vigorously enforced. Even a resolution of the nuclear issue would only begin to address the far broader concerns about the regime and its activities, making a true U.S.-Iran reconciliation far away indeed. The writer, a visiting fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, is a former senior director for Middle East affairs at the National Security Council.

2010-11-25 07:46:18

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