Iran escalates tensions in Middle East, sparks criticism of Biden’s policies

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By Carina

Recently, the Biden administration’s approach to the Middle East and Central Asia has been scrutinized, with experts suggesting that misguided policies towards key adversaries have left the region in turmoil. 

From Iran’s regime to the Taliban and Hezbollah, the U.S. administration’s handling of these issues has raised concerns among analysts. Here’s a detailed exploration of the situation.

Iran’s aggressive actions escalate tensions in Middle East

The Islamic Republic of Iran recently launched a series of drone and missile attacks into Iraq, Syria, and Pakistan in less than 24 hours, marking an escalation in regional tensions. 

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This aggressive behavior follows Iran’s military support to Hamas, which led to a tragic massacre in southern Israel on October 7, resulting in the deaths of over 1,200 people, including more than 30 Americans.

In Tehran, the capital of Iran, a provocative banner displayed by the clerical regime declared, “Prepare your coffins” in Hebrew and Farsi. 

This rhetoric, along with the regime’s foreign policy, reflects a deep-rooted hostility towards the United States and Israel.

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Ideological foundations of Iran’s foreign policy

Iran’s foreign policy has been heavily influenced by its late revolutionary leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who famously stated, “All of Islam is politics.” 

The current Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, continues to advocate for “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” as central tenets of Iran’s foreign policy.

The spread of radical Islamism across the Middle East, including support for groups like Hezbollah, exemplifies the flawed aspects of the Biden administration’s foreign policy.

Expert Analysis: Biden’s reckless Middle East policies

Lebanese-American academic expert on the Middle East, Walid Phares, believes that the Biden administration has resumed the Obama-era policies in the region but with even greater recklessness. 

He points to concessions made to Iran, such as removing the Houthis from the U.S. terror list in February 2021, as detrimental to the interests of U.S. allies in the Arab coalition.

The withdrawal from Afghanistan and the transfer of power and weapons to the Taliban, according to Phares, have weakened the U.S. anti-Jihadist strategy and signaled a potential global retreat.

A U.S. State Department spokesperson, however, contends that the administration has been focused on promoting stability and regional integration in the Middle East. 

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Differing perspectives on Biden’s foreign policy

They highlight Secretary Blinken’s trips to the region, humanitarian efforts, and the goal of preventing Afghanistan from becoming a haven for threats against the U.S. and its allies.

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Michael E. O’Hanlon, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, provides a more mixed assessment of Biden’s foreign policy. 

While acknowledging the mistake of the Afghanistan withdrawal, he sees no significant evidence of a lack of vigilance or resolve in other areas.

Jason Brodsky of United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) identifies the revival of the Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as a significant flaw in the Biden administration’s approach. 

Challenges in dealing with Iran: Nuclear concerns and policy failures

He believes that the administration’s policy towards Iran has repeatedly failed, and its public messaging has been weak, contributing to a dangerous perception in Tehran. 

Iran’s rapidly advancing nuclear program remains a top concern for countries affected by its ambitions. Efforts to deter Iran from pursuing nuclear weapons are crucial. 

Experts recommend concrete demonstrations to make Iran aware of the consequences of weaponization.

Preventing Iran’s nuclear ambitions and ensuring regional stability

David Albright, a nuclear weapons expert, emphasizes the importance of quick, decisive actions by the international community, including potential military strikes, to prevent Iran from building atomic weapons.

While the U.S. has imposed numerous sanctions on Iran, there is an ongoing need to address Iran’s destabilizing activities comprehensively.

In the face of these challenges, the Biden administration must carefully reconsider its approach to the Middle East and Central Asia to ensure regional stability and protect vital U.S. interests.

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