Apr. 9, 2015
It’s “Victory over America Day” in Iran – Thomas Donnelly
There is a geopolitical reason that explains why Tehran might be willing to at least slow its drive for the nuclear capabilities they have paid so much to acquire: Don’t stand in the way of an enemy who’s retreating.
Through its withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan, unwillingness to stand by Arab allies, venom toward Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, phobia regarding the use of military power, and devout belief in the efficacy of arms control, the Obama administration seems to have convinced the Iranians that they can continue their gradual march toward regional hegemony and save their nukes for another day.
Iran will no doubt reinvest the proceeds from any economic revival induced by sanctions relief in campaigns in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Yemen, and elsewhere; Washington has become a willing partner in making Iran the dominant power in the region.
If Iran makes as many gains in the Middle East in the next decade as it has in this one, it will be free to spread an umbrella of nuclear deterrence over a much larger regional sphere of influence – of the sort that has long stirred Persian dreams. The writer is a resident fellow at AEI and co-director of its Marilyn Ware Center for Security Studies.(American Enterprise Institute)