Iran continues to ramp up its aggression — from attacks on international oil tankers to its continued production of nuclear material. Writing at JNS, Melanie Phillips says it’s hard to see how the Islamic Republic’s regime can be stopped without military action:
Tags: Iran JNS Melanie Phillips Middle East Unrest Nuclear Weapons US-Israel Relations
The United States is stepping up its sanctions policy still further. It has now targeted Iran’s largest petrochemical company for providing support to the Revolutionary Guards, and is considering ways to undermine the E.U.’s Instex mechanism.
According to Dr. Majid Rafizadeh, president of the International American Council on the Middle East, sanctions are working. They have imposed such pressure on the regime that it has been forced to cut funding to its allies, militia and terror groups.
For the first time, the regime is frightened of the United States rather than the other way round. According to sources cited by Israeli TV, Iran is now making back-channel overtures to Washington expressing a willingness to renew talks in a bid to find common ground.
However, the belief that sanctions will force it to back down seems naive. It’s hard to believe that these Shi’ite fanatics, who have been in a state of self-declared war against the West since they came to power in 1979, would ever agree to abandon their development of nuclear weapons, let alone meekly cave in to Washington’s further requirement to limit their missile program and their involvement in the region’s wars.
Furthermore, according to Emanuele Ottolenghi of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, Hezbollah earns millions of dollars every year from Latin American drug cartels, which supply the drugs flooding Britain and Europe.
Shockingly, in order not to derail the nuclear deal, the Obama administration terminated the eight-year operation run by the Drug Enforcement Administration aimed at combating Hezbollah’s collusion with the drug trade. The Trump administration has not yet resumed the attempt to shut off this financial spigot.
As sanctions make the regime feel increasingly cornered, it may be more inclined to use violence. Some analysts believe it won’t risk provoking Washington too far because it knows a U.S. military attack could finish it off.
So it might choose just to sit out the Trump presidency in the hope of a pliable Democrat replacing him in the White House.
The drumbeat of war, though, is increasing…