Undoing the damage in Iran

Today’s Washington Post reports that Iran is constructing tunnels near one of its major nuclear facilities, presumably as a means of thwarting inspection of, and a potential attack against, its nuclear program. Against this backdrop, Jeb Babbin’s piece, in which he argues that the U.S. should at a minimum undo the concessions we’ve made to the mullahs over the years, deserves our attention.
A look at these concessions is instructive, and a bit depressing. The list includes, but is not limited to, President Bush’s agreement in 2005 not to oppose Iran’s entry into the World Trade Organization; President Clinton’s decision to stop calling Iran a rogue state; President Clinton’s removal of trade barriers against certain Iranian products; President Clinton’s removal of Iran’s designation as the leading exporter of state-sponsored terrorism (who else comes close?); President Clinton’s removal of Iran’s designation as an exporter of narcotics; and President Clinton’s decision, at the request of the request of the ayatollahs to add the Iranian regime’s arch-enemy, the Mujahedeen-e Khalk, to the list of foreign terrorist organizations.
None of these concessions has dissuaded Iran from pursuing its nuclear ambitions or its efforts at de-stabilization, often through terrorism. Instead, they have just served to reinforce the ayatollah’s perception of U.S. weakness. The only time that perception wavered, and the only time when Iran may have reconsidered its options, was shortly after we overthrew Saddam Hussein.
As a first step in reversing Iran’s perception of the U.S., a prerequisite for making any progress with the ayatollahs, we should undo all of our concessions. After that, we should seriously consider our military options.

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