Some say that the accelerated Iranian involvement in the region has been a result of the 2015 nuclear deal, and that to successfully counter Iran’s destabilizing activities, the U.S. also needs to end the nuclear deal.

According to an article in The Hill, written by Dr. Shahram Ahmadi Nasab Emran, MA, Ph.D., who teaches at the Albert Gnaegi Center for Health Care Ethics, Saint Louis University and has participated in many international policy forums, including the Policy Studies Organization’s 2016 Middle East Dialogue, “To be successful in keeping Iran in check, we need to understand the dynamics of the three main threats originating from the Iranian regime: its nuclear program and the joint missile development; its destabilizing regional activities and its violation of human rights at home.”

The regime in Tehran is undergoing domestic turmoil. It keeps its power by the suppression of dissidents, and violations of human rights by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and its affiliate bodies, like Basij.
Instead of investing in the economy, education and the Iranian people’s long-term demands the seeks to gain recognition by pouring tens of billions of dollars into its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

Dr. Shahram Ahmadi Nasab Emran writes that “the nuclear program is vital, and due to their lack of legitimacy at home, the mullahs perceive the threat of military action and sanctions against their nuclear facilities as an existential threat.”

Some say that the nuclear deal is working, and that ending the deal is not in America’s best interest. Still there is a concern that Iran may be cheating. Most of Iran’s nuclear facilities are located in military bases, which the IAEA inspectors are not allowed to access. How then can we conclude that Iran “remains in compliance with the deal,” as the proponents of the deal claim?

The important fact is that the regime’s greatest security vulnerability is at home. U.S. policy on Iran must include the organized opposition, and their supporters within the country. It is up to the Iranian people to produce the necessary change. With the support of the international community, this change is in reach.