The Iranian Threat in 2015

On Thursday, the Times of London expressed concern that US President Barack Obama might sign a weak nuclear deal with Iran in exchange for the promise of an alliance with Iran in the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq. This, the paper argued, might be “the single most reckless act of 2015.”

The editorial went on to recommend that the West act with unified purpose to “limit the power and influence of expansionist dictators” and confront “marauding terrorist armies.”

Another editorial, published Friday at the Citizen Times, argued that amidst the Obama administration’s obsession with confronting the threat of the Islamic State, it is Iran that remains the gravest threat to Western interest in the Middle East, not least because of the persistent possibility of the regime obtaining a nuclear weapon. This possibility, the Citizen Times and Times of London agree, is made even greater by the Obama administration’s tendency to look the other way on Iranian misdeeds as it maintains narrow focus on the Islamic State.

But as much as this threat may still grow well into 2015, it is a threat that comes from a narrow segment of Iranian society, and observers of the domestic situation there seem to agree that broader trends will continue to move the Iranian people in a direction that is diametrically opposed to the government’s ideology.

The editorial quotes Maryam Rajavi, the president elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, as saying that in her plan for future of Iran “the Iranian people have a democratic alternative with a clear platform that seeks a secular and pluralistic republic, gender equality, a society based on respect for human rights and the abolition of the death penalty, abdication of the mullahs’ Shariah laws, providing equal economic opportunities to all, a nonnuclear Iran, and peace and coexistence with the rest of the world.”