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"How an Iran Hawk Lets IS Off the Hook"

Iranian flag above Tehran's skyline. Iran is a nation-state.

"How an Iran Hawk Lets IS Off the Hook"

Op-Ed, Real Clear Defense

August 22, 2014

Author: Ariane Tabatabai, Former Associate, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom, 2014–2015; Former Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow, International Security Program/Project on Managing the Atom, 2013–2014

Belfer Center Programs or Projects: International Security; Managing the Atom; Science, Technology, and Public Policy


A Narrow View of the Middle East to Be Avoided


This week, Lieutenant Colonel Paul Darling argued over at Cicero Magazine that Washington's decision-making on intervention in Iraq should be shaped by the prospect of a nuclear arms race in the Persian Gulf triggered by a nuclear Iran, rather than the threat of the Islamic State (IS).

Darling is not alone in the camp that views the "Iranian threat" through the lens of IS. Recently, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Washington that the greatest priority in the Middle East remains the possibility of a nuclear Iran. The United States, he argued, should not cooperate with Tehran to defeat IS. This despite the fact the barbaric actions of IS are taking lives every day, while the prospect of a nuclear Iran remains a distant future postulation.

But Iran hawks mix up two very different issues, combining them by focusing on one issue only: the "threat" they believe they represent to U.S. interests. This is a very narrow view, one that is prone to miscalculations, and one that should be avoided for a number of different reasons....

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For Academic Citation:

Tabatabai, Ariane. "How an Iran Hawk Lets IS Off the Hook." Real Clear Defense, August 22, 2014.

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