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Decision time on Iran

Tony Badran, Reuel Marc Gerecht
16th December 2017 - Quoted by Matthew Contenetti - National Review

Very soon, President Trump will have to decide whether America should remain a bystander to Iranian expansionism or take steps to confront this menace to international security and sponsor of global terrorism.

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To date, President Trump’s Iran policy has been mostly rhetorical. Other than decertification and shooting down two Iranian drones over Syria, the United States, writes Middle East analyst Tony Badran, “has relied on an indirect approach, premised on avoiding direct confrontation with Iran and its instruments,” such as Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria, Shiite militias in Iraq, and Houthi rebels in Yemen. But, adds Badran, “this indirect, long-term approach has proven futile and counterproductive.” Iranian proxies have used the opportunity to consolidate their positions and expand their reach.

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Reuel Marc Gerecht describes it this way: “The White House annoys Tehran with minor sanctions, sells more weaponry to Gulf Arabs, occasionally has a second-tier official — the secretary of state — give a speech on Iranian oppression, leaves some troops in Syria and Iraq, and calls it progress.” Gerecht’s language is illustrative of the limits on American power that we have imposed on ourselves. A gnat annoys. A superpower overwhelms.

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