Iran’s spreading its tentacles throughout the Middle East is not for self-defense purposes as Dennis Horak, former Canadian ambassador to Saudi Arabia, asserts in a column published in the Toronto Star on November 10.
Iran’s hegemonic and expansionist efforts have seen it arm and finance Hezbollah, effectively taking Lebanon hostage with its 150,000 rockets. Tehran has propped up Bashar Assad’s murderous regime in Syria and in the chaos that is Yemen, Iran’s allies, the Houthis, are effectively holding 13 million people hostage and on the brink of starvation. In Gaza, Iran still supports Hamas which just fired 100 rockets at Israel and Iran continues to destabilizes Afghanistan.
Iran experts and national security officials in the Trump administration believe that the Iranian regime is very fragile and that U.S. sanctions on its oil exports could deal a crippling blow forcing Tehran to abandon its military adventures in the Middle East or to even lose its grip on power.
The sanctions originally imposed by the international community on Iran’s nuclear, petroleum, financial and military sectors were designed to bring Iran into compliance with international law and to apply economic pressure to thwart Iran’s desire to proliferate weapons of mass destruction. According to the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD), the U.S. Treasury’s recently designating 706 Iranian entities, individuals, aircraft, and vessels for their role in a “broad range of malign activities” was an important step in dialing up the pressure on the Iranian regime. While not a “silver bullet”, as part of a comprehensive effort, FDD says the sections regime may be “silver shrapnel” that would significantly wound the Iranian regime.
Iran’s role as the leading state sponsor of terrorism, its serial human rights abuses, incitement to genocide, and attempts to destabilize the region, do little to inspire confidence; neither do its repeated threats to annihilate Israel, nor its calls for the demise of the West.
Alarmingly, Iran is the world’s most dangerous regime – operating in the world’s most volatile region – while seeking the world’s most terrifying and devastating weapon.