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Understanding Washington's Fast-Evolving Policy on Iran - Analysis

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On the doorstep of US President Donald Trump’s first National Security Strategy speech, the administration launched an unprecedented campaign of pinpointing the Iranian regime as the crosshairs on the epicenter of all extremism causing havoc across the Middle East, writes Heshmat Alavi in Al Arabiya English.

This comes following a Wall Street Journal article explaining how in the post-ISIS world Washington will begin pinpointing its focus and resources on the larger and more dangerous threat posed by Tehran, Alavi, a dissident writer and human rights activist, wrote on Monday, December 18, 2017.

The Trump administration has made it clear that a wide array of destructive policies adopted by Tehran have become unacceptable, the article said.

Described as a “first” by Reuters, last Thursday US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley displayed a detailed exhibition of Iranian equipment used to arm Yemen’s Houthi militias – long known to be backed by Iran’s regime – and thus, to destabilize the region, especially its archrival, Saudi Arabia.

“We are not just focused on the nuclear program,” Haley said during a press conference at a US Department of Defense hangar where the Iranian equipment were placed before the media. “We’re also taking a hard look at Iran’s ballistic missile program, its arms exports, and its support for terrorists, proxy fighters and dictators.”

The Iranian regime can also be described as the facilitator, and maybe even the godfather, of a slate of malign practices rendering suffering across the Arabian Peninsula, leading to the Levant and eastward to Central Asia.

“It’s hard to find a terrorist group in the Middle East that does not have Iran’s fingerprints all over it,” Haley continued, adding how this regime is “fanning the flames” of conflict.

For decades the US State Department has considered Iran the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.

“We may actually be on the verge of meaningful and long overdue measures against Tehran on this very important and vital subject,” the article said.

Advocates of engagement vis-à-vis the Iranian regime are accusing the US administration of trailing the path of launching a war with Iran.

“Their intentions are far from preventing the US from entering a new war, but to protect Tehran from any strong measures, including international sanctions that target the regime and actually benefit the people by weakening the ruling system,” the article added.

It went on to say, as emphasized by Ambassador Haley, it is high time for the international community to take decisive action, such as crippling sanctions targeting the regime and its belligerent institutions, to finally bring an end to what has become “a global threat.”

The article added:

The Iranian opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran, known for blowing the whistle on Tehran’s clandestine nuclear program, indicates how a “firm policy hinges on the following practical measures:

- Evicting the IRGC and its proxy militias from Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and Afghanistan, and preventing the transfer of Iran’s weaponry and troops to these countries;

- Imposing comprehensive sanctions on Iran and the IRGC, especially preventing their access to the global banking system;

- Referring Iran’s human rights violations dossier, particularly the 1988 massacre of over 30,000 political prisoners, to The International Criminal Court, and placing the regime’s senior officials responsible for these crimes before justice;

- Imposing previous UNSC resolutions covering Iran’s nuclear weapons program, banning uranium enrichment, and launching unconditional inspections into the regime’s military and non-

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