Ray Takeyh, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and an Iran expert born in Tehran, writes in a Politico article titled, ‘Why the Death of an Iranian Commander Won’t Mean World War III,’ that the U.S. dealt a major blow to the Mullahs by taking out Qassem Soleimani
Don’t believe the messages of a coming World War III, he says.
Takeyh, who also taught at the War College and advised Senate Committees, believes the Mullahs are facing an uprising and are suffering economically under the sanctions.
He writes about the death of Soleimani, “His death will be a blow to the Iranian theocracy but—contrary to what many observers are warning—could very likely temper the clerical oligarchs, who tend to retreat in face of American determination.”
The Iran expert doesn’t see them escalating if they hope to stay in power.
“Past is often prologue in Iran. When a truculent Ronald Reagan assumed the presidency, Iran hastily released the American diplomats it had held hostage for 444 days. When George W. Bush’s shock and awe campaign quickly displaced the Taliban in Afghanistan and Saddam Hussein in Iraq, Iran responded by suspending its nuclear program. The mullahs relish assaulting America but are circumspect when facing a tough-minded, unpredictable president,” he writes.
Takeyh seems to think this strategy will work. It has to be better than sending them billions for their terror networking.
President Trump could choke their oil sales, and Takeyh seems to think the Iranians will pull back from their nuclear program.
Takeyh writes, “As the commemoration ceremonies begin in Iran, it is important to stress that the imperial edifice that Soleimani built was already stressed. The sanctions reimposed by the Trump administration after its abrogation of the Obama-era Iran nuclear deal have depleted Iran’s economy, calling into question its foreign policy imperatives. In November, Iran was rocked by massive demonstrations as the regime had to curtail its onerous fuel subsidies. An uneasy path lies ahead for the clerical oligarchs. The last thing they need is a costly confrontation with a president willing to do things they once considered unimaginable.”
That sounds good and hopefully, he is right.
In one fiery tweet, the President wrote today, all in caps, “IRAN WILL NEVER HAVE A NUCLEAR WEAPON!”
IRAN WILL NEVER HAVE A NUCLEAR WEAPON!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2020
Let’s hope that’s right too.