On Iran, U.S. Torn Between Supporting Israel and Fighting IS

On Iran, U.S. Torn Between Supporting Israel and Fighting IS
A pro-Israel demonstrator waves flags near the Capitol in Washington, D.C., March 3, 2015 (AP photo by Cliff Owen).

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to the U.S. Congress this week slammed U.S. President Barack Obama’s quest for a nuclear agreement with Iran, unleashing a political firestorm in Washington. While the speech did not compel anyone to shift their position on the Obama policy, it dramatically amplified the debate, with each side fully convinced that Netanyahu made his case or failed to do so.

That the United States has been unable to manage its conflict with Iran, or even implement a coherent policy, reflects the intricate complexity of the issue—with its multiple components, clashing priorities and impassioned domestic political elements. It is the most politically challenging national security issue that the U.S. faces today.

The most pressing component of the conflict—at least this week—is Iran’s nuclear program. It’s not hard to understand Tehran’s desire for nuclear weapons. The Islamic Republic is well aware that regimes without nuclear weapons, like Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi or Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, fell to U.S. military intervention, while those with nuclear weapons, like North Korea, have not. For Iran, the U.S. poses an existential threat.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.