The House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday approved an amendment to the defense appropriations bill offered by U.S. Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) that requires the Department of Defense to develop a National Military Strategic Plan to prevent Iran’s hostile regime from building a nuclear weapon. Franks stated, “For years, Iran has persisted in its pursuit of nuclear weapons because the Ayatollah and his cohorts have long been convinced that the United States lacks the political will to actually bring tangible consequences to bear for the regime’s continued nuclear pursuits. This amendment will demonstrate unequivocally to Iran that the United States Congress does indeed possess the will to do whatever is necessary to halt the regime’s maniacal pursuit of nuclear weapons.”
If the amendment is signed into law it will help enhance U.S. bargaining leverage with Tehran by making it clear that continued Iranian foot-dragging on the nuclear issue could have major military consequences for Iran’s isolated regime. The Obama Administration, stubbornly clinging to its failed engagement strategy, has downplayed the military option to such an extent that Iran’s belligerent President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, dismisses the threat of U.S. military action. Given the drift in the administration’s Iran policy, Rep. Franks’ amendment is a timely reminder to Tehran that its nuclear defiance could have painful consequences.