Countering Iran's Nuclear Challenge

(Heritage Foundation) James Phillips, John C. Hulsman, and James Jay Carafano - Washington should back European efforts to pressure Iran diplomatically to give up its nuclear weapons ambitions. However, if Iran resumes uranium enrichment, the U.S. should mobilize an international coalition to isolate the Ahmadinejad regime, weaken it through targeted economic sanctions, contain Iran's military power, and encourage democratic regime change. Tehran is playing a double game in Iraq, using the young firebrand al-Sadr to undermine Sistani and keep pressure on the U.S. military to withdraw, while still maintaining good relations with Shi'a political parties who revere Sistani and need continued American support. In addition to trying to destabilize Iraq, Iran continues to be the world's leading sponsor of terrorism. It has close ties to the Lebanon-based Hizballah terrorist group, which it organized and continues to finance, arm, and train. Tehran has supported a wide variety of Palestinian terrorist groups and Afghan extremists, such as Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. Iran was involved in the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing, which killed 19 American military personnel deployed in Saudi Arabia. Moreover, Iran continues to give sanctuary to elements of al-Qaeda, including at least one son of Osama bin Laden.

2005-12-16 00:00:00

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