The New Rules: The Coming War With Iran

The New Rules: The Coming War With Iran

While the debate over whether Israel will strike Iran ebbs and flows on an almost weekly basis now, a larger collision-course trajectory is undeniably emerging. To put it most succinctly, Iran won't back down, while Israel won't back off, and America will back up its two regional allies -- Israel and Saudi Arabia -- when the shooting finally starts. There are no other credible paths in sight: There will be no diplomatic miracles, and Iran will not be permitted to achieve a genuine nuclear deterrence. But let us also be clear about what this coming war will ultimately target: regime change in Tehran, because that is the only plausible solution.

Tehran had plenty of reasons to make mastering the uranium-enrichment cycle and other technical capabilities necessary to achieving a nuclear deterrent a strategic priority following America's post-Sept. 11 regime-toppling invasions of Iran's two next-door neighbors, Afghanistan and Iraq. But the course of the Arab Spring, and especially NATO's successful Libyan intervention, has dramatically ratcheted up its sense of urgency. Even more unsettling is the increasingly likely prospect that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a key ally, will fall from power sometime over the next several months, limiting Tehran's ability to resupply Hezbollah and Hamas in the event they need to be unleashed upon Israel in retaliation for any military strikes on Iran's nuclear installations.

Meanwhile, the U.S.-led push to launch a Western embargo of Iran's oil exports could threaten as much as one-third of Iran's total export earnings, according to some expert accounts. The damage will come not just from Europe, which has pledged to stop buying Iranian oil, but also from Asian economies, which are already going out of their way to divert their purchases toward more reliable suppliers. In this regard, Iran's chief regional rival, Saudi Arabia, has become their most aggressive suitor -- by design, of course.

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.

More World Politics Review