Looking Beyond the Iraq/ISIS Crisis: The Iran Challenge

Looking Beyond the Iraq/ISIS Crisis: The Iran Challenge

"Has U.S. policy on Iran transitioned to acceptance of a nuclear-armed Iran as 'inevitable'?"

It is necessary to heed the lessons of history and avoid repeating with Iran the mistakes made with other rogue regimes like Syria and North Korea.

Secretary of State Kerry emphasized in February 2013 the need for a “swift, clear, strong and credible” response to North Korea’s nuclear provocations or risk emboldening Iran. He added that the global response to Pyongyang would “have an impact on all other nonproliferation efforts.”

He was right. Pariah states, terrorists and proliferators, do, in fact, pay close attention to the U.S. approach to other nations, groups and individuals engaged in similar activities. However, if recent actions concerning Iran are any indication, it appears U.S. officials have forgotten Kerry’s warning.

Congress must, therefore, intervene on all aspects of Iran policy. It must be proactive and not wait until the damage is done. Failure to do so could have grave consequences for U.S. security, credibility, interests and allies for years to come.

Yleem D.S. Poblete is former Chief of Staff of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Foreign Affairs. During her close to two decades on the Committee staff, she was responsible for multiple Iran, Syria, and North Korea measures, including the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act which became law in August 2012.

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