There are persistent fears that the Obama administration sees the nuclear agreement with Iran as a “get out of the Middle East free” card. It is incumbent on the administration to respond to Sen. Corker’s call for a comprehensive and forward-leaning policy for the region.
President Obama should declare to the nation and the world that the expansion of Iranian power in the Middle East is at odds with the interests of the U.S. and its friends and with the principles we espouse. Therefore, we will step up efforts to interdict Iranian arms shipments bound for extremist groups. We will do everything we can—including arming the Kurdish Peshmerga—to minimize Iranian influence in Iraq. We will make it clear that our principal objective in Syria is to replace Bashar Assad with a regime that does not depend on Iranian support.
We will give our friends the tools—including advanced weapons—they need to push back against Iran. We will offer our friends the diplomatic assurances they need—including, if necessary, formal military alliances. Once the Iranians understand that an attack on America’s allies will be met with overwhelming force, the chances of war will be much reduced.