The previous US administration struck a bad and a weak nuclear deal. It will not deter Iran from developing a nuclear weapons capability after 2025, nor stop its ballistic missiles development or its destabilizing policies in the region through its support for terrorists and armed militias.
All this raises many questions. Why was such a bad deal made and why were all these issues neglected? The Obama administration did not take into consideration all these dangerous issues, nor factor in the security of US allies in the region. On top of that, the lifting of sanctions on Iran allowed Tehran to take billions of dollars that had been frozen and use them to fund terror throughout the region.
The absence of international deterrence of Iran can lead to chaos, as we have seen in Yemen, where the Iranian regime has interfered and poisoned the country. At least there it is being countered by the Arab coalition, but is this enough to curb Iran because this is only one place we’re talking about. What about the other countries where the Iranian killing machine is currently operating? What about its ballistic missiles? What about its nuclear program? The Middle East is going to sit back and watch without any response — every action has an equal and opposite reaction.
The new strategy as outlined by Trump is the right way to stop all this deterioration in the region, which is why it has been welcomed by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Yemen and Egypt. Without reversing the Obama appeasement of Iran’s extremist and aggressive actions, it will be impossible to achieve global stability, peace and security.
The US president’s new strategy on Iran is the only effective way to bring security and stability to the region.
Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri
Dealing with Iranian terror needs reliable allies in the region to work together. Besides the main objective, which is to fight terrorism, the most important issue is to try to focus on stability and development. Those allies have all been affected by terrorism – unlike Iran, which pretends to fight it while actually promoting it with impunity.
Also, imposing tougher sanctions on the Revolutionary Guards, as the US Treasury has announced, will be an important step in countering terrorism in the region, because this military unit is the mother of all terrorist militias, responsible for training them, providing funds and helping to plan their activities. Reducing their role will have a direct effect on other terrorist militias in the region. It will also liberate Iran from its own iron fist, because the IRGC controls everything inside Iran from the economy to the media, military and ministries.
Any further action taken by Tehran, such as more tests of its ballistic missiles or action related to its nuclear program, would be a threat to international peace and security, and should be countered. Restoring sanctions would push Iran to comply with international norms, and prevent it from spreading its terror, which affects regional and international security. Trump’s new strategy is the only one that will bring stability, and confront the cradle and the roots of terrorism.
• Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri is a political analyst and international relations scholar. Twitter: @DrHamsheri