Keep Pressure on Iran
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Keep Pressure on Iran

President Donald Trump is right to isolate Iran until it changes its aggressive behavior.

President Donald Trump visits Israeli President Reuven Rivlin at his official residence in Jerusalem. (Photo by Haim Zach, Israeli Government Press Office)
President Donald Trump visits Israeli President Reuven Rivlin at his official residence in Jerusalem. (Photo by Haim Zach, Israeli Government Press Office)

The 2015 Iran nuclear deal is an issue that doesn’t go away, as you can see in an article about remarks 6th Congressional District candidates Jon Ossoff and Karen Handel made to Jewish War Veterans Post 112.

You can see the deal rehashed in opinion pieces supporting both candidates. Such arguments usually echo statements made last year in the presidential election.

But arguing over the specifics of the Iran deal ceased to be worthwhile the moment the United States and its allies in the nuclear talks signed the agreement. That action brought an end to a crippling set of sanctions against Iran and freed up tens of billions of dollars for the No. 1 state sponsor of terrorism to spend as that radical regime sees fit while also slamming the brakes on its progress toward nuclear weapons.

It’s pointless to complain about the cash infusion to Iran, just as it’s pointless to celebrate that Iran hasn’t yet unveiled a nuclear bomb or that Israel hasn’t launched a pre-emptive strike against the nuclear program. As President Barack Obama said, we’ll only be able to judge the deal decades down the line.

What’s important now isn’t to worry about what could have been but instead to make the most of the existing situation: Iran, under the rule of expansionist, anti-Western Shia leaders, is doing all it can to undermine the rest of the Middle East and reassert the pre-eminence it enjoyed during the Persian Empire.

Enforcing the limits and inspections set by the nuclear deal is vital because this Iranian regime cannot be allowed to have nuclear weapons, but our allies will agree to reinstitute severe sanctions only if Iran breaks the agreement first.

The United States must also make Iran pay the price for separating nuclear matters from all the other bad things it does: We can and should aggressively sanction Iran for working on ballistic missiles, for supporting the slaughter in Syria, and for financing terrorists in the Middle East and beyond.

Iran can never be allowed to forget that as long as it is working to undermine sovereign nations, whether Israel and its Sunni-majority neighbors or Europe and the United States beyond, it is and will be treated as a pariah.

President Donald Trump delivered exactly that message during his visits to Saudi Arabia and Israel. He left behind the campaign rhetoric over the Iran deal and concentrated on the need for the United States and its friends in the Middle East and the Muslim world to isolate the regime in Tehran to save lives now and in the future.

Trump is not known for verbal consistency, but he left no gray area in speeches in Riyadh and Jerusalem: Iran is the greatest threat to tranquility in the Middle East, but it also is creating a historic opportunity for Israel and Sunni states to build on anti-Iran security cooperation to develop deeper, lasting ties.

Actions such as the U.S. arms deal with the Saudis back up Trump’s words. A breakthrough in the Palestinian-Israeli stalemate would do the same. And every move that benefits the rest of the Middle East increases the chances that eventually an isolated Iran will change its wicked ways.

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