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How do we contain Iran?

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Iran remains a major foreign policy issue for the United States. The regime of the rogue state there supports a wide variety of Sunni and Shia militant groups across the Middle East, including the Afghan Taliban, the Lebanese Hezbollah and the Palestinian Hamas, destabilizing the region.

The first step, which President Trump has actually already bravely implemented, is the end of the Iran deal. The terrible Iran deal allowed the Iranians to hasten the development of their nuclear weapons, threatening the entire region.

The next step is to improve the coordination between our allies in the Middle East. This coordination is impeded by two issues – the Israel-Palestine dispute and the Qatar-Saudi dispute. Though two Arab states, Egypt and Jordan, do recognize Israel, tensions remain, especially with Jordan. Others such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE have covert relationships with Israel but are reluctant to bring them into the open. Furthermore, all of these Arab countries have an ongoing feud with Qatar and Turkey, both prominent hosts of a US military presence. It is in our interests to facilitate a resolution to both these feuds in order to create a united front against Iran, and the Trump administration has worked boldly to that end.

Finally, we need the help of Russia. The Iranian presence in Syria is used to preserve Hezbollah supply lines and could provide a way for the Iranian Revolutionary Guards to attack the Israeli Golan Heights. However, Russia has military control of Syria and can force Iran out of the border region and disrupt Iranian attempts to establish a permanent military presence there. A reduced Iranian presence in Syria would not only help protect Israel, but it would open the door to Syria re-entering the community of Arab states in the region and thus in the long term pull the country away from the Iranian sphere of influence.

Thankfully, President Trump has made progress on all three of these fronts. Although the results have yet to be seen, Iranian expansionism is very much on the retreat during the Trump administration, as opposed to the way it was empowered under President Obama.

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