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For the Middle East, It’s the Center for American Regress


For the Middle East, It’s the Center for American Regress

Jim Lobe

Last week, I featured a new Atlantic Council report by former Stimson Center president Ellen Laipson in which she argued that the nuclear deal with Iran—and the opportunities for future cooperation with Tehran that it opened up—required “national security officials …to shed old thinking about the near permanence of U.S.-Iran enmity. It will take courage, imagination and perseverance,” she went on, “to seize opportunities even as US national security institutions continue their work to respond to the many challenges Iran poses.”


Excellent article and analysis. None of this comes as any surprise given the essential convergence of Democratic and Republican foreign policy elites around the neoconservative agenda against Iran, which they perceive, correctly, as having been halted during the Obama presidency albeit at great political cost. Recall that prior to his election Obama spoke about a possible new relationship with Iran. The neocons have never forgiven him for that, and are doing everything they can to undermine the JCPOA. There are many reasons to criticize the Iranian regime, but why it should be an implacable foe compared to the medieval monarchies in the Gulf and authoritarian regimes in Egypt and elsewhere remains a mystery. Given that Islamist terrorism against the United States and the West generally has, at least in recent years (one cannot forget past Iranian terrorism against US targets), arisen from the Sunni countries of the Arabian peninsula rather than Shiite Iran, it is unclear how the march against the so-called Shia crescent supposedly being engineered by Iran advances the national security interests of the United States. That the policy is intended to counter Iranian influence in Iraq is all the more indefensible since such influence is the direct and foreseeable result of the Iraq war pushed by the same neocon elites who now insist we must act aggressively to curb Iran's influence there. This circular logic make sense only when viewed from the prism of an Israeli-oriented policy to thwart Iran since it is the one regional power in the Middle East that appears to have the potential to challenge Israel's nuclear monopoly.


"to respond to the many challenges Iran poses."

Well, the Chinese manage to get on well with Iran. They do it quite easily; they invest in infrastructure and reap a friendly reward. Why does the USA create problems for itself?