While the international community has focused on Syria as a battleground against ISIS, Tehran has been using the Syrian civil war to subtly grab territory, thus carving a path to the sea that arcs from Iran and Iraq.
Hezbollah, an Iranian funded force in Lebanon, announced last month that it had captured the Syrian-Lebanese border area of Juroud-Arsal from ISIS. This marks yet another success for Iran, as it grows its influence and power base within the Middle East. Iran has been seeking to expand its influence and become a world power that imposes Islamic theocratic rule over as many individuals as possible.
Part of their strategy to achieve that goal has been the creation of a land corridor through the region, which would allow the movement of troops and goods. This top exporter of terror has used its finances and military might to support armed militias throughout the region in a quest to create the corridor. Hezbollah has used the cover of the Syrian conflict to gain control of strategic swatches of land.
The Iranian regime has broken international law and forcefully expelled the Sunni population and replaced it with Shiites. This changed the local demographics to support Tehran’s planned land corridor through Syria and Iraq. Throughout this process, Hezbollah has become a division of the Iranian army, working for Tehran in several key areas, including Yemen and Iraq.
The international community needs to come together with a strategy to stand up to Iran and limit the growth of this corridor and its power grab throughout the region. The mistake is thinking that ISIS is the greater threat, while Iran has been able to use ISIS as a distraction to continue to add pieces of territory to its corridor.
Iran also has supported the Syrian government, becoming the system that keeps Assad in power. Their soldiers are the backbone of Assad’s forces.
Western nations need to take a firm stand against this regime’s power grab. Violations of the nuclear deal must trigger harsh sanctions. Iran must know that there will be consequences for their actions, including their terrorist activities throughout Europe, Asia, and America.
There are multiple options for how to deal with Iran, but the international community needs to make sure that they are standing united against this threat. While it could be handled through diplomacy and sanctions, the international community needs to be willing to back up their determination with military might if necessary.
The point is that Iran is a threat to the peace of the Middle East. The free world needs to stand united and declare that it cannot abide an Iranian empire that starts at the Persian Gulf and ends at the Mediterranean Sea.