Iran is a Geopolitical Threat
Iran continues to find ways to expand its nuclear program. The New York Times reports “a vast tunnel network just south of the Natanz nuclear production site” in what Israeli and American intelligence officials “believe is Tehran’s biggest effort yet to construct new nuclear facilities.” Moreover, the tunnel is so deep in the mountains it should withstand bombs and cyberattacks. Iran has pursued the development of nuclear weapons for decades. Indeed, a nuclear Iran poses a unique threat due to its history of state sponsored terrorism. Still, some wonder whether the United States has overreacted towards Iran.
In many ways Iran is the key to stability in the Middle East. It is an oil rich country with a large population, so it is a natural regional hegemon. Moreover, it has one of the largest and most powerful militaries in the region. Let’s be clear. The IRCG is nowhere near as powerful as the United States Armed Forces. However, it is a giant compared to the ineffective militaries in the Gulf Region. Indeed, Iran is unafraid to put their troops into battle in other countries like Syria or assist others like the Houthis in Yemen. In other words, Iran can contribute to conflict or stability in the region.
An Iran in possession of nuclear weapons changes the balance of power in the Middle East entirely. It allows them to become even more aggressive towards their neighbors than they already are. While they may not use nuclear weapons, it would make other nations hesitant to retaliate against them. In the same way Russia has used the fear of nuclear war to limit NATO’s support for Ukraine, Americans might think twice about defending their allies in the Middle East. Moreover, it’s unlikely the Iranian regime will change anytime soon.