Elliott Abrams

Pressure Points

Abrams gives his take on U.S. foreign policy, with special focus on the Middle East and democracy and human rights issues.

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Can We Contain Iran?

by Elliott Abrams
February 10, 2014


If Iran gets nuclear weapons, can it be “contained?” After all, we contained the Soviet Union–which was far stronger than Iran.

That Cold War analogy is misleading, I argue in an article this week in The Weekly Standard. During the Cold War we took a vigorous military and ideological stand against the Soviets, from hot wars in Korea and Vietnam, to proxy forces in Afghanistan, to President Reagan’s comments that the Soviets constituted an “evil empire” and would end up on “the ash heap of history.” We negotiated, but we also fought, in ways that we are not doing when it comes to Iran.

The article, entitled “A Misleading Cold War Analogy,’ can be found here.

Post a Comment 5 Comments

  • Posted by EMT

    Iran can only be contained with power and strong determination. We should not forget that the chess game was invented in Persia (Ancient Iran). They are governed by religious fanatics who took over the power. They are intelligent and malicious people. Those who think to convince them to adapt to our way of life and our way of thinking will find out that they are terribly mistaken. We should also not forget that they are friends with Russia, China, and North Korea.

  • Posted by Jassem Othman

    “Or perhaps Israelis expect that in the end America will act to stop Iran from getting a bomb…Reagan did not wait out the Soviets, he beat them. We have no such strategy now toward Iran.”

    Or perhaps in light of this defeatist policy that Americans who want Israelis to do their work against Iran?!

  • Posted by Jassem Othman

    Dear EMT, I do not think that dictators are smart enough, but yes, are wicked and malicious! Iranians are friends of all pro-evil regimes that anti-America on this planet…

  • Posted by EMT

    Dear Mr Jassem Othman, I agree with you but with fanatic we have to be careful.

  • Posted by ah

    Hah Jassem, I love your irrational hyperbole and the fictitious world you live in. Especially considering I did not even comment on this post, but you felt the need to bring me up.

    You and EMT should go off and start your own little country island. You can dress up as unicorns and imagine you are valiant knights defending the world from the evils of rationality, critical thinking and common sense.

    For your sake however, I hope the Israelis don’t deem your island to be “historic Jewish land” from 3,000 years ago. Otherwise they will occupy your island, put you in a tiny box and then call you terrorists when you try to escape.

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