May 27, 2015
A Policy to Defeat Both ISIS and Iran – Samuel Berger, Stephen Hadley, James Jeffrey, Dennis Ross and Robert Satloff (Politico)
- There are two main external threats to the Middle East state system. The Islamic State has declared a caliphate designed to replace existing states. The Islamic Republic of Iran uses its militia proxies to undermine states and deny them authority throughout their territory, a process that has already given Tehran leverage over four Arab capitals – Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut and Sanaa.
- On ISIS, U.S. strategy ultimately depends on building a broad coalition of partners in support of Arab-based efforts to defeat it. Iran will surely fight to prevent ISIS’ domination in Syria and Iraq, an arena in which our objectives converge. But the Iranian strategic view of the region is fundamentally at odds with ours.
- We need to judge Iran on how it acts. The most powerful elements in Iran today still see the U.S. as their enemy because they see America as the main impediment to their domination of the region.
- Ultimately, if the U.S. hopes to mobilize Sunni Arab populations of Iraq and Syria in opposition to ISIS – an essential element to marginalizing it – Iran cannot be seen as a presumed ally.
- A comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran could make sense if it allows Iran a peaceful nuclear energy program but denies it the capability of becoming a nuclear weapons state. Every conflict that Iran touches today would be much more difficult and more dangerous in the future should Iran acquire a nuclear weapons capability.
(Click on the title to see the whole article…Ed.)