Analysts warn against accommodating Iranian regional ambitions

 

Several analysts have recently written that it would be a strategic error for the U.S. to allow Iran to play a greater role in the region, given its destabilizing nature and hegemonic ambitions. Thomas Joscelyn of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies writes that the administration is “grossly mistaken” if it thinks it can cooperate with Iran to combat Sunni extremism. According to the Treasury Department, Iran has an agreement with al Qaeda whereby the latter can stay in the former’s territory as long as it does not conduct operations there or attempt active recruitment. Michael Young, the opinion editor of the Daily Star, contends that Iran has a strategy of dividing the Arab world along sectarian lines, which “provides fertile ground for Iran to impose hegemony regionally.” Iran’s strategy, Young writes, directly undermines the American policy of “building consensus to reinforce governance institutions and prevent the emergence of vacuums in the region.”

The ongoing Iranian-Hezbollah-Syrian offensive in southern Syria has put Iran right on the Israel-Syria border. Tony Badran of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies quotes a U.S. military official: “You cross a red line in Syria, you start to infringe upon what Iran sees as its long-term interest and those Shia militias [in Iraq] could turn in the other direction.” This accommodation, Badran argues, creates a wedge between Israel and the U.S. Lee Smith, a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute, agrees with Badran, writing that in the American attempt to contain Sunni jihadism in Syria and Iraq, a “strategic divergence” over Iran has opened between the U.S. and Israel.

Analysts usually aligned with the Obama administration have also expressed their concern about the President’s desired rapprochement with Iran. Aaron David Miller of the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars wrote in January, “[I]f the administration is too eager for an agreement, it will find itself…with an emboldened Iran…untransformed, unrepentant, and in a stronger … position to challenge U.S. interests in a turbulent Middle East.” David Rothkopf, the CEO and Editor of the FP Group, maintained in a January essay that if things continue on the same path, the administration’s “pivot to Iran is going to seem like a great blunder.” Former Special Advisor to the Obama administration Dennis Ross recommended a new strategy that will “focus on isolating Iran in its neighborhood and undermining its clients” to “raise the price to Tehran of its objectionable policies.”

 

Promising innovators to present at prestigious New York’s Israel Dealmakers Summit 2015, following an inaugural power breakfast in China. Promising Israeli late-stage startups will strut their stuff before investors and global thought leaders at the seventh annual Israel Dealmakers Summit in New York, March 24-25, 2015 — an invitation-only conference on technology, trends and innovations shaping key sectors including digital media, mobile and wireless, cyber-security, smart cities, enterprise software, health and wellness, Internet of Things (IoT) and big data. “We launched this summit in direct response to US and global dealmakers’ desire to tap into Israel’s leadership in innovation,” said Zeev Klein, general partner of Landmark Ventures, which organizes the yearly summit in partnership with the Israel Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Investment Promotion Center. Meanwhile, a “Power Breakfast” was held at the newly opened Israeli Business Center in Shanghai on February 12 to showcase Israeli startups specializing in mobile and Internet technology. The event was held in cooperation with GWC, the umbrella organization of Chinese Internet and mobile companies, which also sponsors the annual Global Mobile Internet Conference (GMIC), this year set to be held in Beijing in April. “This is the first event of its kind at the Israeli Business Center in Shanghai, which was inaugurated last November,” said Elad Gafni, Israeli trade attaché to Shanghai from the Foreign Trade Administration. “Beyond the great potential of this event for Israeli web and mobile companies, it is also an opening shot for similar events in other fields where there is potential for cooperation with China.” According to the Foreign Trade Administration in the Israeli Ministry of Economy, in 2014, trade between Israel and China reached $11.14 billion. (via Israel21c)


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