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,