President Biden’s weak response to Iran’s provocations reminiscent of Obama, Israel and Saudi Arabia face growing threat of Iranian aggression, analyst says.
President Joe Biden’s weak response is encouraging Iran to escalate its belligerent actions across the Middle East, an Israeli analyst warns. The current US policy is reminiscent of President Obama’s unwillingness to confront Tehran, researcher Udi Evental says.
Iran has stepped up its attacks since Biden took office and shows more boldness and confidence, Evental wrote in a paper for Israel’s Institute for Policy and Strategy. Tehran has increasingly used its regional proxies to launch strikes in different theaters, with a focus on targeting key US allies, he said.
The latest Iranian attacks are especially pronounced given Tehran’s restraint in the past year, the analysis noted. Iran was largely deterred by President Donald Trump and also avoided any action that would risk a Biden election victory, the paper said.
Trouble ahead for Israel
The American policy conveys a “problematic message of weakness” to Iran as it tests US resolve, Evental wrote. For Israel, the combination of Tehran’s growing belligerence and Biden’s soft approach promises an escalation of attacks on different fronts.
One of Tehran’s key aims at this time is to encircle and weaken Israel and Saudi Arabia, the analysis said. This prompts Iran to boost the military buildup on Israel’s borders via proxies in Lebanon, Syria and Gaza, while also posing a threat from more remote theaters like Iraq and Yemen.
Evental warns that Iran’s aggression against Israel will likely continue even if Tehran de-escalates elsewhere to advance nuclear talks with the US. The Iranians still aspire to settle various scores with Israel and could strike in different theaters, he wrote.
Notably, Iran has already targeted Israel in recent weeks on various fronts. The provocations included a bombing near Israel’s embassy in India, an attempt to shoot down a drone in Lebanon, and an attack on an Israeli-owned ship in the Gulf. As tensions grow on the conventional and nuclear fronts, a broad clash between the IDF and Iran axis in 2021 becomes increasingly likelier.