Originally published in The National Interest on 7/17/13
Iran, a state that is known to support terrorists and insurgent groups, has its tentacles in several states throughout the Middle East. Trying to pry one loose, even if successful, will leave the others tightening their unwelcome grip. And the point of no return for stopping Iran’s nuclear program is rapidly approaching, even according to the hyper-cautious President Obama. Indeed, in March Obama told an Israeli television station that it would take Iran “over a year or so” to develop a nuclear weapon. The best way to deal with Iran’s various attempts to dominate the Middle East is not to face it indirectly in one arena after another, but to go after the mainland.
If Iran were defanged, Hezbollah’s military arm would soon run out of funds and top-of-the-line weapons, forcing the organization to rely more on its political arm and thus become more of a Lebanese political party than a terrorist organization. And it would lose its capacity to checkmate other Lebanese parties and forces, especially the ethnically neutral and stabilizing Lebanese army.
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