Iran has been much in the news in recent days, thanks to the contentious debate over the American response to the August 21st chemical weapons attacks in Syria. A number of U.S. officials, including President Barack Obama, have sought to make the case that a strike against Syria was essential to reinforcing the global nonproliferation regime and chastening its challengers and most especially, Iran. As a diplomatic alternative to force emerged — led, unexpectedly, by Syrian ally Russia —
I published a piece yesterday in Foreign Affairs entitled “The Iran Fallacy”, which essentially offers a counter-argument.
I’m sympathetic to the view that the Obama Administration’s difficulties in building Congressional and international support for military action may encourage some in Iran to believe that they, too, can disregard international law, norms, and treaty obligations in pursuit of dangerous objectives. However,
It is too soon to tell whether Pompeo would take a different approach toward Turkey...Though I wouldn’t expect the direction of U.S. policy to change significantly...The working groups put in place after Tillerson’s Ankara meetings were something that multiple other secretaries of state had used in the past to address tough policy issues, and there [is] no reason why this particular group could not continue under the new leadership...[Moreover], U.S. policy on the issues of Brunson and Gülen will not change.