Obama's Secret Iran Strategy

The president has long been criticized for his lack of strategic vision. But what if a strategy, centered on Iran, has been in place from the start and consistently followed to this day?

President Barack Obama makes a statement about Iran’s nuclear program in November 2013.  BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images.

President Barack Obama makes a statement about Iran’s nuclear program in November 2013. BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images.

Essay
Feb. 2 2015
About the author

Michael Doran, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and the author of Ike’s Gamble: America’s Rise to Dominance in the Middle East (2016), is a former deputy assistant secretary of defense and a former senior director of the National Security Council. He tweets @doranimated.


President Barack Obama wishes the Islamic Republic of Iran every success. Its leaders, he explained in a recent interview, stand at a crossroads. They can choose to press ahead with their nuclear program, thereby continuing to flout the will of the international community and further isolate their country; or they can accept limitations on their nuclear ambitions and enter an era of harmonious relations with the rest of the world. “They have a path to break through that isolation and they should seize it,” the president urged—because “if they do, there’s incredible talent and resources and sophistication . . . inside of Iran, and it would be a very successful regional power.”

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More about: Barack Obama, Benjamin Netanyahu, Iran, Iranian nuclear program, Middle East, Politics & Current Affairs