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The Brezhnev Doctrine, Iran-style

Tehran pulls out all the stops to win in Syria

Jun 3, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 36 • By ELLIOTT ABRAMS
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Iran’s ayatollah does not suffer from our own problems grasping reality. Losing Syria would be a disaster for him, so he will do what he must to prevent it. Period. No hand-wringing, no worrying about the cost and the risks, no concern about the U.N. Security Council and its resolutions, no worries about the human toll. He wants to win and he understands that whether he wins or loses is immensely important. 

Our own Syria policy seems based in wishes and speeches and worries, risk avoidance, politics, and conferences. It is no wonder we are losing, as we will continue to lose until the president and secretary of state grasp that the outcome in Syria is immensely important, that the entire world of our allies and friends and enemies is watching very closely and judging our level of comprehension and our willpower​—​and decide to win.

Elliott Abrams is a senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and author of Tested by Zion: The Bush Administration and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.

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