Why Iran Could Be a Bigger Problem than North Korea

    Todd Royal

    Security, Middle East

    Members of Iran's Revolutionary Guards march during a military parade in Tehran, September 22, 2007. Reuters/Morteza Nikoubazl/File Photo

    The Middle East is in a shambles, as Iranian proxy wars and other wars dominate Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Mali and Egypt.

    Iran is on the march in the Middle East following the P5 + 1 nuclear agreement that brought billions in sanctions relief, which means the Iranian regime is now the biggest threat to regional stability. Iranian proxies, which include Hezbollah, Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood and the Houthis in Yemen, allow the Iranian regime to project force on an unprecedented scale in the Middle East and emboldens other bad actors on the world stage.

    The Middle East is in a shambles, as Iranian proxy wars and other wars dominate Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Mali and Egypt, along with a Palestinian civil war possibly being around the corner. Now that the United States has recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and Turkish prime minister Erdogan has called Israel “a terrorist state,” passions are on the rise, which has allowed Iran to escalate its attacks on Israel and Sunni nations that disagree with its Shia interpretation of Islam.

    The geopolitical situation with Iran has seen tensions increase further the second half of 2017. In October, the U.S. Navy defended itself from missile strikes by Houthi rebels, backed by Iran off Yemen’s coast. The P5+1 agreement was intended to usher in the dawn of a new era for relations between Iran, the West and Sunni-led Middle East nations; instead, other bad actors have perceived weakness in the United States and Western resolve to ensure the post–World War II order.

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