Dealing with Iran has always been a major issue for American presidents and politicians.Some, such as President Barack Obama, took the approach of attempting to find common ground. Others believe that it is not wise to treat Iran with anything but disdain, given the nation’s history and agenda.
The Republican Party falls into the latter category, especially under President Donald Trump. Now they appear to have a new strategy to try and deal with the Iranian threat.
Counter terrorism Strategy for Iran
The United States White House released a new strategy aimed to fight terrorism emanating from Iran. National security advisor John Bolton is the man who spoke about the new plan, outlining what he expects in the coming months and years.
Bolton spoke about how America would target all terrorist groups, especially radical Islamic terrorism. He believes these groups are the ones who pose the biggest threat to the United States and its interests – both domestically and abroad.
Ending the Nuclear Deal
The Americans’ new strategy comes under the backdrop of President Trump deciding to back out of the nuclear deal that had been signed by his predecessor, President Obama. Trump never believed the nuclear deal was a good idea and campaigned on its revocation.
His advisor Bolton described Iran as the “central banker of international terrorism” since the late 1970s. The fundamental belief within the Trump White House is that Iran never took the nuclear deal seriously, where they claimed to scale back their program in exchange for sanctions relief.
Is War a Possibility?
The question that many Americans and political junkies would ask is whether these statements are leading up to an inevitable war between the two nations. Conventional wisdom would suggest that it is still far from reaching that point, given the state of either nation.
While Iran is not a nuclear power, it does have a military that is significantly more organized and powerful than Iraq or Afghanistan possessed when they were invaded. And unless the United States is willing to engage in another decade-long war that has no end in sight, open conflict seems unlikely.
The more plausible outcome is a return to open hostility, where both nations are obvious in their dislike for each other. President Obama had attempted to break through that cycle with the nuclear deal. But the current administration does not believe it would have been a wise move to continue with the agreement.
New Approach in the Middle East
It is not only Iran that will face a different America in the coming months and years. Nations such as Pakistan were also warned by the administration that things would have to change if they wanted to remain allies with the United States.
President Trump recently withdrew billions in aid to Pakistan, as part of a previous agreement that included intelligence sharing and the use of Pakistani air/ground space for various missions in Afghanistan.
It remains to be seen how the administration will handle any escalation of conflict in the subcontinent, Afghanistan or Iran. But it is clear that diplomacy will be taking a back seat to tough talk for the time being.