HEDIL AMIR/ANADOLU AGENCY VIA GETTY IMAGES
Amid a recent series of attacks against US troops Stationed in Iraq and Syria, President Joe Biden issued a stern warning to the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei, The White House has said that if US forces stationed in Iraq and Syria are repeatedly targeted by Iran backed Proxies then the United States would respond with force against Iran. The president also made it clear that this situation was in no way related to the ongoing conflict/ war between Israel and Hamas. The White House did not convey how the message was conveyed to their Iranian counterparts but its evident that after the recent attacks on US troops in Iraq and Syria America is prepared to take action and not hesitate even if it means the conflict has a chance of spilling over to neighboring countries and merge into a wider conflict engulfing the entire Middle East, to prevent additional countries from joining the primary conflict between Israel and Hamas the United States has deployed its Carrier Battle group in the region. It is important to note that in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, Iranian-backed proxies are active and supporting Hamas directly or indirectly. Hence, it would suffice to say that the recent attacks carried out against US troops were carried out by Hezbollah which is an Iran-backed proxy operating in the region.
It is essential to understand that this is not the first time Iranian Proxies have targeted US troops, to provide some context, one of the reasons why Hezbollah and other terrorist groups in the region target US troops is Iran’s desire to become a Nuclear weapons capable country and be self-sufficient in producing Nuclear weapons without any western interference but the western countries including Israel have criticized Iran for trying to produce Nuclear weapons for its own ambitions and plunging the region into an arms race and hence have placed Iran in the black list of FATF (Financial Action Task Force) which severely deprives Iran from receiving Foreign investments and collaborate with foreign institutions on the pretext of terror funding. Therefore Iran, as it is an oil-rich country, has resorted to selling its oil in the black market to obtain the funds to keep its nuclear weapon ambitions alive, Israel, on the other hand, has been vocal about the fact that if it comes to know that Iran is close to acquiring Nuclear weapons then Israel would pre-emptively strike at Iranian Uranium enrichment facilities and destroy its nuclear weapon facilities, on the other hand, Iran has vowed to destroy Israel by using Nuclear weapons and has openly admitted to the fact. In response to America’s unwavering support to Israel Iran has accused the US of fanning the tensions and keeping the Middle East occupied so the US can profit from weapons sales.
Another factor that must not be overlooked as to why Iran-backed proxies are targeting the US and supporting Hamas against Israel is the regional integration of Israel with the Middle East and increasing trade ties with UAE and Saudi Arabia, the normalization of relations between Israel and Middle East’s two prominent countries would severely put Iran on the backfoot and the recent news of the IMEC (India Middle East Europe Corridor) which includes Israel would cement total reintegration of Israel into the Middle East and they would join forces in opposing Ian together. Hence it is beneficial for Iran that the Middle East stays divided.
Despite Iran showing hostility towards the US and its allies the United states remains committed to preventing Iran from acquiring Nuclear weapons and maintaining its continued isolation from the international community since its inception into the FATF black list. The United States of America is willing to impose even more sanctions which would cripple the already weak and crumbling Iranian economy.
Amidst all the threats and posturing from both sides, we can only hope that common sense prevails and the ongoing conflicts be resolved through dialogue and diplomacy and both sides show restraint in using force as a means of achieving their objective. It is in the best interest of both parties that the ongoing conflict be localized and resolved in the future so that Human suffering can be prevented.