Beyond Incrementalism: A New U.S. Strategy for Dealing with Iran

In the coming years, few if any countries will more preoccupy the foreign policy attention of the United States than Iran. The United States has long lacked a viable and coherent policy toward Iran. Perhaps for the first time since the fall of the Shah's regime in 1979, the United States seems determined to try to forge one. The United States must move swiftly to chart a bold, new course that addresses all three of America's principal national interests with Iran. Our policy should seek to halt the development of an Iranian nuclear bomb, to end the regime's support of terrorist groups, and to help the democratic movement in Iran. Each of these goals is vital, but they are also intertwined. Compared to autocracies, democracies are more transparent about their foreign policy intentions and their military capabilities. Only when we have a government in Iran that is truly accountable to its people and to the rule of law will we be able to achieve a permanent and verifiable halt to that country's pursuit of nuclear weapons and its support of international terrorism.