Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

Over at National Review Online they asked experts to weigh in on the situation with Iran and Heritage Expert Peter Brookes was asked to share his thoughts.

Hey, Mr. President, how’s that engagement policy with Iran working out for you? Not so well, from what I can tell.

While you were busy hoping for a breakthrough, holding fast to the Pollyannaish foreign-policy notion that “if we’re nice to them, they’ll be nice to us,” the situation in Iran has only gotten worse over the last year — and precipitously so.

The Iranians are kicking up uranium enrichment beyond what is needed for reactor fuel; their ballistic-missile programs, which could carry dangerous payloads, are advancing; Tehran is re-arming Hezbollah; and the regime continues to hammer the opposition movement — one which could have changed the dynamic in Tehran but which you failed to support.

Despite missing many opportunities to get tough with Iran since you took office — were you expecting the regime to see the longstanding errors of its ways? — it’s still not clear today whether we have a policy for dealing with Tehran other than hoping for the best.

By the way, hope is no basis for a national-security strategy.

Unfortunately, allowing the Iranian regime to believe it can act with impunity — at home or abroad — will only lead to bigger, more serious problems as Tehran gains confidence and asserts itself in ways inimical to American interests.
It’s likely that the 31st anniversary of the Iranian Revolution, set for February 11, will give us a fresh look into just how bad things have gotten — and will, in all likelihood, keep getting.

Cross-Posted at NRO’s Symposium