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Analysis & Commentary - Reuel Marc Gerecht

Reuel Marc Gerecht's Latest Articles

3rd April 2018 – Co-authored by Ray Takeyh - The Washington Post

Why Iran won’t rush to a bomb if Trump pulls out of the nuclear deal

Reuel Marc Gerecht

With John Bolton’s appointment as national security adviser, the odds have significantly risen that President Trump will abandon his predecessor’s nuclear deal with Iran. But there’s no need for hysteria. If Trump abandons the deal, the Islamic Republic still isn’t likely to run amok, ramping up its nuclear program and killing American soldiers in the Middle East. The calculated caution of Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, will probably win out. His tortoise-beats-the-hare approach to his country’s nuclear quest will be reinforced by the wild card that surely scares the mullahs the most: Trump. more...

20th March 2018 – Hoover Institution

The Syrian Great Game

Reuel Marc Gerecht

By definition “great games” are complicated with lots of moving parts. Battles on the ground, intense, myriad, and sometimes fratricidal, always connect, however indirectly, to the larger collision of great powers. In Syria, the tug-of-war is a lopsided affair, where Iran, Russia, and the Alawite regime of Bashar al-Assad are invested in winning. The opposing side—Syrian Arab Sunnis, Sunni Gulf Arabs, Israel, the United States, and Turkey—is barely an entente. In the most destructive conflict the modern Middle East has seen (the runner up, the Iran-Iraq war, though comparably lethal, was less destructive to civilians), Tehran and Moscow may not be able to reclaim all of the territory lost by Assad, but they have invested what is needed to regain the most essential parts of the country. more...

13th March 2018 – Fox News

Pompeo faces challenges from North Korea, Syria and Iran

Reuel Marc Gerecht

President Trump’s announcement Tuesday that he has removed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and will nominate CIA Director Mike Pompeo to head the State Department will likely leave Pompeo spending most of his time in his new job dealing with three nations: North Korea, Syria and Iran. more...

6th March 2018 – Co-authored by Ray Takeyh - The Wall Street Journal

Let Rouhani and Khamenei Fight

Reuel Marc Gerecht

Iran’s Islamic revolutionaries criticize each other regularly, but recently the level of invective among the ruling elite has reached new heights. The vicious infighting between President Hassan Rouhani and his detractors now threatens the governing edifice of the Islamic Republic. Given the clerical regime’s aggressive foreign policy and nuclear ambitions, it is in America’s interest to see this power struggle intensify. more...

30th January 2018 – The Washington Post

Trump doesn’t know it, but Iranians are the Norwegians he’s been looking for

Reuel Marc Gerecht

The White House wants to keep Iranians out of the United States. Special circumstances will allow entrance to a lucky few, but standard non-immigrant and immigrant admission, if current practices stand judicial challenge, will essentially be over. The Trump administration justifies this ban, which includes five other majority-Muslim countries, on national security grounds — an odd argument, since such a concern ought to incline the administration to give more visas, not fewer, to Iranians. more...

4th January 2018 – The Wall Street Journal

The Secular Republic of Iran

Reuel Marc Gerecht

Coverage of the recent tumult in the Islamic Republic of Iran has focused on how economic frustration is affecting the country’s politics. more...

4th January 2018 – The Weekly Standard

The Crack-up of Theocracy

Reuel Marc Gerecht

It is odd to hear Westerners, hopelessly permeated with Marxism, dissect the nationwide Iranian protests as primarily an economic eruption, the suggestion being that the demonstrators are not that dyspeptic about the nature of the Islamic Republic. more...

2nd January 2018 – The New York Times

The Worst Thing for Iran’s Protesters? U.S. Silence

Reuel Marc Gerecht

We are now six days into the Iran protests, and the questions that seized Washington during the 2009 pro-democracy movement have now once again come to the fore. Should the United States try to help Iran’s protesters? Can we help them? more...

26th December 2017 – The Wall Street Journal

In the Mideast, Trump Gives Reality a Chance

Reuel Marc Gerecht

A lot of people are in a funk over President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The liberal media, most former government officials who’ve dealt with the Israeli–Palestinian imbroglio, and just about everyone at the United Nations appear certain that the decision had a lot to do with Mr. Trump’s disruptive nature, the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, Evangelical Christians and pro-Israel Republican donors. more...

15th December 2017 – The Weekly Standard

Deceptive Deja Vu

Reuel Marc Gerecht, Mark Dubowitz

In France, all right-thinking people know instinctively what the pensée unique is—the socially acceptable view on any subject that ensures a Parisian won’t get axed from the better dinner parties and weekends in Normandy. The Democratic party, which remains a more coherent concatenation than the Republican party, has long been the camp in America more prone to virtue tests, which can, if you fail, get you sent to the woodshed or worse. more...

12th December 2017 – Hoover Institution

Countering Iran while Retreating

Reuel Marc Gerecht

Time has almost run out for the United States to deny the Islamic Republic hegemony in the northern Middle East. The clerical regime has the high ground and the Americans are, at best, slowing Iranian advances. The approximately two thousand troops Washington has reportedly deployed to Syria, mostly in the north and the southeast, have prevented the Tehran–Moscow–Damascus axis from dominating all of the strategic locations in the country. more...

13th October 2017 – The Washington Examiner

Trump throws a Hail Mary pass against Iran

Reuel Marc Gerecht

President Trump has finally decertified his predecessor's nuclear agreement with Iran. Twice before, in April and July, Trump certified, per the requirement in the 2015 Iran Nuclear Review Agreement Act, that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action remained in the interest of the United States. According to senior White House officials, he did so most reluctantly and was determined to not do it again. more...

11th October 2017 – The Wall Street Journal

How to Defeat the Islamic Republic

Reuel Marc Gerecht

Iran’s modern history is replete with examples of the citizenry seeking to reclaim power from despots. more...

6th October 2017 – The Weekly Standard

No Easy Way Out

Reuel Marc Gerecht

By October 15, Donald Trump must decide what to do with his predecessor’s nuclear agreement with Iran. more...

8th September 2017 – The Weekly Standard

Perfect Partners

Reuel Marc Gerecht

Moscow and Tehran intend to have their own way in the Middle East. more...

26th July 2017 – Hoover Institute

“Pushing Back” Iran

Reuel Marc Gerecht

On both the left and the right, there is a consensus in Washington that the United States needs to “push back” against the Islamic Republic’s nefarious actions in the Levant, Iraq, and Yemen. more...

18th July 2017 – The New York Times

On Iran, Trump Is Obama 2.0

Reuel Marc Gerecht

Mr. Wang’s seizure, like so many other aggressive actions that the Iranian regime has engaged in since the nuclear deal was concluded, should have, some of his supporters surely thought, obliged the White House to abandon the Iran policy advanced by his predecessor. more...

20th June 2017 – The Wall Street Journal

Tehran’s Own Worst Enemy

Reuel Marc Gerecht

A theocratic regime has made Iranians less observant. The number of clerics in parliament has diminished greatly since the revolution. Reuel Marc Gerecht reviews “Democracy in Iran: Why It Failed and How It Might Succeed” by Misagh Parsa. more...

2nd June 2017 – The Weekly Standard

‘Principled Realism’

Reuel Marc Gerecht

Donald Trump's recent sojourn in the Middle East leaves the United States where it was before the president departed: His administration remains committed to containing Iran while philosophically adopting a pre-9/11 approach to combating Sunni Islamic militancy. more...

16th May 2017 – The Wall Street Journal

In Iran’s Election, Americans Should Root for the ‘Hard-Liner’

Reuel Marc Gerecht

In Washington there is a consensus that the re-election of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is in the best interests of the U.S. Most find the self-avowed pragmatic cleric, who championed the 2015 nuclear deal, a less menacing choice than his “hard-line” opponent Ebrahim Raisi, who is rumored to be the preferred candidate of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. more...