Dawn of the New Iranian Empire

(Commentary) Michael Rubin - That Iran has not started a war in the last 200 years has become a common refrain among those who want to downplay the threat posed by the Islamic Republic. Alas, it is a false claim. Despite then-Iranian UN Ambassador Mohammad Javad Zarif's pledge to American diplomats in 2003 that Iranian forces would stay out of Iraq, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps infiltrated thousands of militiamen and its own forces into Iraq almost immediately; they never left. Iran has also dispatched thousands of "volunteers" and Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corpsmen to fight in Syria. Southern Lebanon has been under de facto Iranian suzerainty for decades, and after the Doha Agreement in 2008, Hizbullah now has effective veto power over the rest of Lebanese society. In Yemen, the Houthis seized power and, with Iranian backing, used brutal force to consolidate it over areas that were never traditionally Houthi. In recent years, Iran began talking about itself as a "pan-regional power," describing its strategic boundaries as the Eastern Mediterranean and Northern Africa. The writer is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

2016-10-19 00:00:00

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