Key Points

Alternately, Netanyahu might well opt to kick the can down the road one more time. But he is running out of road.

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Washington needs to step up to the challenge and ensure that its regional partners are fully on board. Cutting off Hezbollah’s financial lifeline has been a U.S. national security priority for decades, but action has been intermittent at best. Yet now, an unexpected alignment of priorities has put Washington on the same page as the Argentine, Brazilian, and Paraguayan governments. Now is the moment for them to launch an all-out offensive.

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Yet I’ve lost count of how many articles have appeared demanding that the Trump administration compel the Saudis to stop fighting in Yemen without even a mention of the Houthis or their Iranian and Hezbollah patrons. It’s as if they didn’t exist at all. Trump’s critics ought to at least feel required to wrestle with the potential implications of their recommended course of action for the very real Iranian threat that now exists on the Arabian Peninsula. Even if you grant that the war has enabled the IRGC to deepen its influence over the Houthis and expand its ability to destabilize Saudi Arabia, it doesn’t necessarily now follow that forcing the kingdom to abandon the fight unilaterally will make the situation better. On the contrary, there’s at least a significant risk that it could make it worse, even much worse. Remember Iraq: The United States’ 2003 takedown of Saddam Hussein and the blunders that followed created unprecedented opportunities for Iranian meddling and influence. But the unilateral decision to withdraw U.S. troops in 2011 unintentionally ended up increasing the power of not only Iran, but what would go on to become the Islamic State as well.

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Iranian officials are very clear on the value of their growing arsenal. Europe, with strong backing from the U.S., needs to finally turn its words into deeds.

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Mr. Trump and many Republicans have been reluctant to promote democracy and civil society overseas. They would be wise to overcome this hesitation and play every card they have against the regime to build the broader base of support, at home and abroad. The clock is ticking.

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Events

EVENT: FDD's National Security Summit

August 28, 2018 | 10:00

EVENT: Iran's Deceptive Financial Practices

June 5, 2018 | 12:15

Projects