Should not overstate threat from Iran's foreign policy and recognize its relative weakness
The reach of Iran’s foreign policy has exceeded its grasp. For all its efforts to maintain its sphere of influence and expand its power in the Middle East, it has gained little from its interventions. Tehran has consolidated its control over the leadership in Damascus and South Beirut, but these allies are stretched thin and seeing their power and influence recede. Meanwhile, Iran is increasingly challenged in Iraq by the Islamic State and resurgent U.S. diplomacy. In Gaza, Tehran has ceded its influence with Hamas to the same governments supplying its opponents in Syria. Far from an ascendant actor in the region, Iran is currently fighting the greatest challenge to its power since its sphere of influence coalesced in the 1980s. The discourse in the United States should take this into account and refrain from inflating the threat of Iran’s policies. Such alarmism risks an American overreaction. Instead, U.S. policy must take into account not just Iran’s ambitions for preeminence in the region, but also the limited effectiveness of its recent strategy.
Iran has a long history of supporting terrorist proxies and promoting an aggressive foreign policy that has caused instability in the region. However, we should be careful not to overstate the impact or threat from their regional ambitions as they have had limited success in spreading their revolutionary ideology. Additionally, recent instability in Iran's traditional spheres of influence (ex. ISIS and Syria), is forcing them to refocus their efforts and reduce funding for other activities.