The White House Is Sending Iran the Wrong Message

(Bloomberg) Eli Lake - Iranian General Qassem Soleimani built Iran's Quds Force into a kind of NATO for terrorists, connecting militias in Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen into a strategic alliance. The assassination of Soleimani was a response to a series of escalations. In 2019, Iran launched missiles and drones at Saudi oil fields, attacked ships in the Persian Gulf and stepped up militia attacks against U.S. positions in Iraq. The final straw came at the end of that year, when a coordinated mob nearly overran the U.S. embassy in Baghdad. When President Biden took office, Iran's escalations became more brazen. Even though Biden offered to lift the economic sanctions imposed by Trump if Iran returned to the enrichment limits of the 2015 nuclear deal, Iran is now enriching uranium to 40% purity, very close to the level needed for a weapon. The U.S. has continued to hold out hope for diplomacy even though Iran's diplomats in Vienna will no longer meet with the U.S. envoy. The U.S. has also relaxed enforcement of some sanctions, leading to an increase in Iranian oil exports. In October, Iranian proxies launched a drone attack on a U.S. base on the Syrian-Iraqi border. Most troubling, however, is that the U.S. has let it be known that it does not approve of Israeli intelligence operations against Iran's nuclear infrastructure. This is the wrong message. It risks more provocations from Iran. If the regime's leaders believe they face only economic consequences for their predations, then they will continue to test America's resolve.

2022-01-06 00:00:00

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