Iran Has No Territorial Ambitions? Tell It to Lebanon and Syria

(Commentary) Evelyn Gordon - In a study recently published by the Rand Corporation, author Alireza Nader concludes that containing a nuclear Iran is feasible because Iran's nukes wouldn't threaten either America or its Middle Eastern allies. "Iran does not have territorial ambitions and does not seek to invade, conquer, or occupy other nations," Nader asserted. That might have been a tenable theory 25 years ago, when Iran was still licking its wounds from an eight-year war with Iraq. Since then, however, Iran has effectively taken over Lebanon and is now seeking to do the same with Syria. The takeover of Lebanon was completed in 2008, when Iran's wholly-owned Lebanese subsidiary, Hizbullah, staged an armed occupation of Beirut to reverse government decisions, forcing the government to sign a power-sharing deal that effectively gave Hizbullah a veto over all government decisions. Now, Iran is trying to annex Syria. It's clear that if Assad survives, Syria will be another wholly-owned Iranian subsidiary. As one senior Iranian cleric helpfully explained in February, "Syria is the 35th province [of Iran] and a strategic province for us....If we lose Syria, we cannot keep Tehran."

2013-05-31 00:00:00

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