Insufficient Diplomatic Strength to Stop Iran

(Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) Amb. Dore Gold - A new Iranian law mandated by the parliament has cut back the monitoring of the Iranian nuclear program. There would be no more "snap inspections" by the West on Iranian facilities. With Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declaring that Iran's uranium enrichment levels would no longer be limited to 20%, and adding, "We may even increase enrichment to 60%," Tehran is now on a path to get closer to an atomic bomb than ever before. When the West created an arrangement with Saddam Hussein at the end of the First Gulf War that sought to address his weapons of mass destruction, they included all ballistic missiles above a range of 150 km. But the JCPOA did not touch Iran's missile capabilities. There is no indication that this is now going to be remedied. The JCPOA was built around the assumption that Iranian behavior would become more moderate as a consequence of the easing of economic sanctions. But the relaxing of sanctions on Iran did not moderate its regional behavior. The Tony Blair Institute for Global Change reported in February 2021: "The number of militias created by the IRGC surged." Iranian expansionism spread in this period to areas which are not thought to be within its sphere of influence. Its support for the Houthi guerrillas in Yemen gave it a strategic presence along the Bab al-Mandeb Strait that connected the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. Iran began working with the Polisario in the Western Sahara, basing themselves in Algeria. Iran was operating far away from the Persian Gulf. What was needed was a robust response by the West to these Iranian actions. In the past month alone, Iranian proxies rocketed an American facility in Iraqi Kurdistan, as well as a civilian airport in Saudi Arabia. True, the U.S. hit back at an Iraqi militia stationed just over the border in Syria. But without a consistent American policy of striking back, the Iranians will not internalize the U.S. message. There was no indication that the U.S. and Europe understand what they are facing. The writer, former Director-General of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Israeli Ambassador to the UN, is President of the Jerusalem Center.

2021-03-01 00:00:00

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