Former United States Under Secretary of Defense John Rood said that the Iranian regime was the “greatest threat” to the US and its Middle East allies, before praising the US’ maximum pressure strategy on the mullahs at a conference held by the National Council of Resistance of Iran’s United States Representative Office (NCRI-US).
The June 3 online conference, entitled “The Growing Threat from Iran’s Regime”, was attended by many famous American politicians and featured speakers like former Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Robert Joseph and former deputy director-general of the IAEA Professor Olli Heinonen.
Rood began by explaining how the regime’s ideology led them to export terrorism, warmongering, and their own personal misinterpretation of Islam across the Middle East with the aim of taking control of the region, mainly through the Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force. He then warned of the dangers of allowing the United Nations arms embargo to expire in October, which would allow the regime to buy modern weapons and would lead to “increased adventurism”.
He praised the US’ s policy on Iran, which included the US withdrawal from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and the re-imposition of US oil and banking sanctions, which has largely decreased the amount that the regime has available to spend on their proxy groups or other military aspects. However, he is still worried about conflict with Iran, which came to a boil on January when the US killed Quds Force commander Qasem Solemani in a drone strike and Iran responded by firing dozens of missiles at a US base in Iraq, injuring scores of American soldiers.
- Here are his recommendations for the US now:
- Continue the maximum pressure campaign
- Use US military forces to work with partners in the region to deter Iran
- Continue to restore America’s relationships with allies
- Ensure US and allies have capabilities to address Iran
- Increase cyber capabilities
Rood said: “Working with allies is also key to maintaining free movement through the Strait of Hormuz. Iran has built swarms of small boats, a large inventory of naval mines, and an arsenal of anti-ship missiles that can severely disrupt maritime traffic in this strategic chokepoint critical to global trade. The US-led International Maritime Security Construct (IMSC) has successfully deterred Iranian aggression since it was stood up last year following Iran’s seizure of a British ship and we have not seen similar attacks since.”