America Must Stand Up to Iran, for Israel’s Sake and Its Own

The junior partner to China and Russia in the anti-American coalition is the Islamic Republic of Iran. Yesterday, a U.S. navy ship intercepted missiles launched from Yemen, apparently at Israel—almost certainly fired by Tehran’s Yemeni proxies. Meanwhile, other members of the same terror network attempted drone attacks on American troops in Iraq. Iran is also (along with Qatar) the primary sponsor of Hamas, and evidence is mounting of its role in the October 7 massacres. Efraim Inbar writes:

Israelis savor the unequivocal American support for its war on Hamas. Biden’s longstanding and evident friendship with the Jewish state is warming Israeli hearts. . . . Less pleasant to Israeli ears is the reluctance of the Biden administration to blame Iran for the tragic events along the Gaza border. Secretary of State Antony Blinken refused to acknowledge an Iranian role in the attack, even though more evidence of clear links to Tehran is being presented in the American media.

Hamas would not exist without the support of Iran, which has regularly sent funds to support it. Tehran trained the Hamas terrorists, smuggled weapons into the Gaza Strip, and transferred the technology needed to build a local industry capable of producing missiles. And those are the missiles that are launched against Israel’s population centers. [But] Washington’s deliberate blind eye to Iran’s mischief in the region—even when its naval ships were harassed by vessels of the Iranian Islamic Guards—amounts to ostrich-like behavior.

The only recipe for a more peaceful Middle East is for the U.S. to attack Iran’s nuclear infrastructure—or give Israel all it needs to do it.

Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Antony Blinken, Gaza War 2023, Iran, U.S. Foreign policy, U.S.-Israel relationship

Iran’s Calculations and America’s Mistake

There is little doubt that if Hizballah had participated more intensively in Saturday’s attack, Israeli air defenses would have been pushed past their limits, and far more damage would have been done. Daniel Byman and Kenneth Pollack, trying to look at things from Tehran’s perspective, see this as an important sign of caution—but caution that shouldn’t be exaggerated:

Iran is well aware of the extent and capability of Israel’s air defenses. The scale of the strike was almost certainly designed to enable at least some of the attacking munitions to penetrate those defenses and cause some degree of damage. Their inability to do so was doubtless a disappointment to Tehran, but the Iranians can probably still console themselves that the attack was frightening for the Israeli people and alarming to their government. Iran probably hopes that it was unpleasant enough to give Israeli leaders pause the next time they consider an operation like the embassy strike.

Hizballah is Iran’s ace in the hole. With more than 150,000 rockets and missiles, the Lebanese militant group could overwhelm Israeli air defenses. . . . All of this reinforces the strategic assessment that Iran is not looking to escalate with Israel and is, in fact, working very hard to avoid escalation. . . . Still, Iran has crossed a Rubicon, although it may not recognize it. Iran had never struck Israel directly from its own territory before Saturday.

Byman and Pollack see here an important lesson for America:

What Saturday’s fireworks hopefully also illustrated is the danger of U.S. disengagement from the Middle East. . . . The latest round of violence shows why it is important for the United States to take the lead on pushing back on Iran and its proxies and bolstering U.S. allies.

Read more at Foreign Policy

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, U.S. Foreign policy