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Analysis & Commentary - Reuel Marc Gerecht

Reuel Marc Gerecht's Latest Articles

11th June 2018 – Co-authored by Ray Takeyh - The Wall Street Journal

Don’t Fear Regime Change in Iran

Reuel Marc Gerecht

President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran deal, and to relentlessly pressure the Islamic Republic, has elicited a predictable response. Critics cite history, particularly a counterproductive 1953 coup, as a reason to oppose the strategy. But looking more closely at the past shows that a regime-collapse containment policy is the best way to effect change. more...

25th May 2018 – The Weekly Standard

A Historian in Full

Reuel Marc Gerecht

The university flag at Princeton is flying at half-mast. It’s an appropriate tribute to Bernard Lewis, who died on May 19, less than a fortnight from his 102nd birthday. Professor Lewis was one of the great scholars of the 20th century and a happy Princetonian. more...

21st May 2018 – FDD Research

Iran: The Shi’ite Imperial Power

Reuel Marc Gerecht

The sectarian wars in Iraq and Syria have fundamentally changed the Islamic Republic. They have become arenas for a new militant Shi’ite solidarity that has crossed the Arab Persian divide: Iranian-led, non-Iranian militias, thousands strong, now fight in foreign lands. more...

11th May 2018 – The Weekly Standard

It’s Come Undone

Reuel Marc Gerecht

Since the parameters of the Iranian nuclear accord became apparent in 2014 until Donald Trump canceled the deal on May 8, Washington essentially divided into three camps: those who supported the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, those who thought it was a seriously deficient accord but didn’t have the stomach to challenge it since that would oblige them to accept the risk of another war in the Middle East, and those who opposed the accord and were prepared to accept the risk of conflict. more...

8th May 2018 – USA Today

Obama administration sold a bad Iran nuclear deal to the American public

Reuel Marc Gerecht

President Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal should be viewed as condign punishment for the disingenuous way Barack Obama and his staff sold the agreement to the American public. more...

8th May 2018 – Washington Examiner

Time’s up for Iran deal

Reuel Marc Gerecht

It is now nearly certain that President Trump is going to walk away from his predecessor’s nuclear deal with Iran, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. The president in his announcement Tuesday may provide a bit of wiggle room by slowing the reinstitution of sanctions lifted by the accord in the hope that the Europeans will eventually join the United States in demanding tougher restrictions on the regime. But the effect most likely will be the same: The deal is dead. more...

6th May 2018 – The Atlantic

The Nuclear Deal Keeps America From Confronting Iranian Aggression

Reuel Marc Gerecht

In his latest entry in our Atlantic debate on the Iran deal, Philip Gordon appears distinctly uncomfortable with the inescapable part of American preeminence—U.S. willingness to use force fairly often to maintain the liberal world order, which the United States created after World War II. more...

5th May 2018 – The Atlantic

The Nuclear Deal Makes America Complicit in Iranian Crimes

Reuel Marc Gerecht

The fundamental question when discussing a nuclear deal with Tehran is this: Are you prepared to fight over it? If not, then any deal is a good deal. This willingness to go to the mat also affects whether you are prepared to push back against the clerical regime in the Middle East, especially in Syria and Iraq, and even whether and how you are willing to advance a regime-change policy—regime change, incidentally, being what an increasingly big and vocal slice of the Iranian people want. Westerners should appreciate the religio-political evolution of the Islamic Republic. more...

4th May 2018 – The Atlantic

The Iran Deal Is Strategically and Morally Absurd

Reuel Marc Gerecht

It was surely Barack Obama’s profound aversion to the use of American military power that so enfeebled his nuclear diplomacy and made his atomic accord with Iran the worst arms-control agreement since the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922. I do not know whether a more forceful president and secretary of state—say a Democratic version of Ronald Reagan and George Schultz—could have gotten a “good deal” with Tehran; it just boggles the mind to believe that a better deal wasn’t possible. more...

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...