Mark Toner, State Department spokesman, admitted last Thursday, just how misplaced those hopes were when he stated, [W]e continue to see Iranian behavior in the region that is, frankly, not positive, that is unconstructive.” 

According to Basiri, “A year after the nuclear deal came into effect, not only has the Iranian regime failed to manifest a modicum of cooperation on the crises riddling the region, but it has also grown bolder in its efforts to expand terrorism, to fan the fires of sectarianism in neighboring countries, and to threaten global peace and stability.”  He adds, “During this time, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), which controls a large portion of Iran’s economy and has benefited the most from the economic incentives of the nuclear deal, has spent the cash windfall to send arms to the Houthis in Yemen, which the latter fires at U.S. ships off the coast of Yemen.” 

Iran has dispatched of tens of thousands of troops to assist the Assad regime with the  Syrian conflict, that has so far claimed the lives of nearly half a million Syrians. 

“And in Iraq, Iran-backed militias continue to keep the country on the precipice of sectarian strife while national security forces are pushing forward a campaign to root out the Islamic State,” Basiri says. 

What’s happened in the past year shows how far off the mark the Obama administration’s estimation of change in Iran would be after the nuclear deal. 

The deputy chief of the IRGC, General Hossein Salami, boasted of Iran’s territorial expansion in a speech he delivered on the anniversary of the occupation of the U.S. embassy in Tehran.  Salami threatened that if the U.S. didn’t stand up to its commitments, Iran would scrap the nuclear deal and reactivate its centrifuges.  His remarks are among a wave of threats from top Iranian regime officials. 

Another IRGC commander, took those threats farther, when he recently promised that elite fighters would be in the U.S. and Europe very soon, hinting at terrorist activities to be carried out in those countries. 

However, Basiri says that, “…in contrast to the powerful image that Tehran is trying to exude, Iran is engulfed in economic and social crises, and its increased hostility toward its neighbors and the international community is not a display of its might, but rather a testament to the failure of the West – especially the Obama administration – in adopting a decisive plan of action toward Tehran and opting to curb the nefarious deeds of the Iranian regime through incentives and leniency.” 

He adds, “This is yet more proof of the reality that the Iranian regime’s belligerence cannot be undercut through appeasement and concessions, and only a firm policy will force Tehran to retrace their steps and toe the line.  Anything less will further drive the region into chaos and mayhem.”  

Perhaps the next U.S. President will right the wrongs and correct the mistake, and will take the right side to benefit the people of Iran and the region.  Perhaps the next U.S. President can put Iran and the Middle East on the path toward the re-establishment of peace and stability.