Iran—the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism—remains Israel’s and America’s greatest long-term threat in the Middle East. The United States must confront Iran’s aggression, take firm action to support regional allies, and fix the flaws of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal to ensure that Iran can never obtain nuclear weapons as the deal’s restrictions expire.
Iran's Nuclear Quest
The 2015 Iran nuclear deal, or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), has temporarily pushed back Iran’s breakout time to a nuclear weapon, but it has neither curbed its nuclear ambitions nor reduced its aggressive behavior in the Middle East. In fact, the deal legitimized Iran’s nuclear program, left a vast nuclear infrastructure in place, and largely expires in 13 years. Now, the Iranian economy has largely reopened for business and Tehran has gained access to more than $100 billion in previously frozen assets.
Iran is a radical Islamic theocracy that seeks to export its revolutionary ideology abroad by supporting terrorist proxy groups—including Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Gaza Strip—which carry out attacks on American troops and Israeli civilians.
Iran continues to provide arms, funding and personnel to the Assad regime in Syria, which has repeatedly used chemical weapons against its own citizens. Iranian support has helped establish a “land bridge” from Iran to the Mediterranean Sea—via Syria, Iraq and Lebanon—which enables the ground transport of weapons and fighters to Iran’s terrorist proxies on Israel's border.
And over the past two years, Iran has conducted at least 15 ballistic missile tests in defiance of U.N. prohibitions and doubled the size of its defense spending.
The Way Forward
The United States must establish a clear, comprehensive approach that addresses both Iran’s dangerous behavior and the underlying flaws of the 2015 nuclear deal. America’s Iran strategy must:
Overhaul the problematic sunset clauses of the nuclear deal.
- Press the IAEA to strengthen and expand its inspection of Iran’s nuclear program.
- Oppose Iran’s regional aggression and support for terrorism, including any permanent Iranian military presence in Syria.
- Toughen sanctions against those supporting Iran’s missile program, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Hezbollah.
- Ensure Israel has the means to defend itself against the growing Iranian threat.
The Iran Nuclear Deal: Expiration Dates & Consequences
The Iran nuclear deal only imposed temporary restrictions on Tehran’s nuclear quest and has had no moderating effect on its regional aggression. In the coming years, most restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program will lift, allowing it to become a nuclear weapons threshold state. Download the PDF »
Iran must not be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons.
Iran must understand that the United States will never permit it to acquire nuclear weapons. A nuclear-armed Iran is an existential threat to Israel and would arm the leading state sponsor of terrorism with the world’s deadliest weapon.
Iran remains the leading state sponsor of terror.
According to the U.S. State Department, Iran remains the leading state sponsor of terrorism – financing, arming and training terrorist groups operating around the world, including Hamas and Hezbollah.
Iran is a regional aggressor and continues to violate international law.
Over the past two years, Iran has conducted at least 15 ballistic missile tests in defiance of U.N. prohibitions and doubled the size of its defense spending. In 2016, Iran deployed and declared operational the advanced Russian S-300 surface-to-air missile defense system. The regime has also deployed thousands of IRGC— troops to fight in the Syrian civil war. The IRGC arms, trains and funds tens of thousands of Syrian forces, Hezbollah terrorists and Shia militiamen—some of whom operate directly along Israel’s northern border in the Golan Heights.
Iran is a gross violator of human rights.
The Iranian regime has a profound disregard for human rights: Sunni and Sufi Muslims, Christians and Bahais face daily persecution; homosexuality is punishable by death; political elections are fraudulent; media censorship is widespread and journalists, both domestic and foreign, are regularly arrested and held without trial or charge.