Iran's Attacks Against the U.S. in Iraq Accomplished What Was Intended

(Jerusalem Post) Jonathan Spyer - The Iranian missile attacks on Ain al-Asad and Erbil in Iraq on Jan. 8 indicate that Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has chosen to de-escalate and draw a line under the episode of the killing of Qasem Soleimani. Finding Americans and killing them in either Iraq or Syria does not present a problem for the Iranians, given their known capabilities. But an attack of sufficient magnitude to settle the account over Soleimani would almost certainly invite further, wider American retribution. This could descend into a direct clash between the U.S. and Iran, which Iran could not possibly win, and which could mean the destruction of much that Iran has gained in the region over the last decade. The latest round of hostilities indicates that those who helm the Iranian bid for regional hegemony are aware of their limitations in the military arena, are not suicidal, and are capable of formulating policy in line with the prevailing power realities. The writer is director of the Middle East Center for Reporting and Analysis.

2020-01-10 00:00:00

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