by Frederick W. Kagan
American Enterprise Institute
June 24, 2014
Iran is a belligerent in the regional sectarian war that is raging in Iraq and Syria. What, then, are the implications of a possible nuclear weapons deal for the region? Iran seeks nuclear weapons in order to deter any potential attack against it by the United States or Israel. This is part of their larger strategy to create a regional Persian hegemony and expel Western influence. Iran is unlikely to abandon its nuclear program, even though doing so would enrich and stabilize the country. Even if Tehran completely reversed its attitude towards the US, that would not be enough to bring Iran into alignment with our interests. A nuclear deal is not the solution to all the problems in US-Iran relations. A new strategy must be formulated to assist the majorities in Iraq and Syria who reject al-Qaeda and Iranian dominance, a strategy that relies on continued sanctions, air power, intelligence, and aggressive diplomacy.



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