In view of Iran’s flagrant aggression, it seems like some Democrats are beginning to perceive the liability of failing to talk tough.
In a strongly worded letter dated Nov. 14, 2017, Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.), along with 43 bipartisan co-signers, urged Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to take immediate action to prevent Iran from becoming permanently entrenched in Syria by way of its proxy Hezbollah.
Could it be that the congressman has come to see that the Iran nuclear deal, vigorously embraced by his Democratic colleagues in 2015, instead of making the world a safer place, has in fact had the exact opposite effect? Because Iran has denied inspectors access to military installations, it is not even possible to appraise the extent of its compliance.
But the compliance loophole has become secondary. The agreement removed economic sanctions that had been successfully suffocating Iran and thwarting its hegemonic capability. With the lifting of the sanctions, Iran was thrown a lifeline. Hardware like those 150,000 missiles that Hezbollah has pointed at Israel, that Schneider now bemoans, actually cost money!
In 2016, with the economic chokehold removed for just a single year, Iran’s economy of $1.45 trillion grew at the coveted rate of 6.5 percent. That’s just one year, and it fails to take into account the explosion of activity that will result from the plethora of capital goods that will now flow freely into Iran. Eighty percent of Iran’s exports are oil-related and 50-60 percent of government expenditure is derived from oil revenues. Iran forecasts that the lifting of sanctions will enable a doubling of oil revenue.
The age of “credible posturing” has expired. With Hezbollah so comfortably embedded from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean Sea, exactly how do Schneider and his colleagues envision convincing Hezbollah to fold up its tents?