President Biden’s Struggle to Deter Iran

The recent attacks on Israel by the Iran-led "Axis of Evil" underscore a concerning trend: President Biden's policies in the Middle East over the past three years have failed to deter Iran's aggressive actions. Despite being a superpower capable of crippling Iran's military capabilities, the effectiveness of US deterrence hinges on the president's resolve.

It appears that Iranian leaders remain undeterred by President Biden’s warnings against attacking Israel, reminiscent of similar warnings issued to Russian President Putin concerning Ukraine, which went unheeded.

American intelligence has detected operational preparations by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards for potential attacks on Israel.

However, it remains uncertain whether Iran will launch these attacks directly from its territory or through its proxies in the region.

In response to an assassination in Damascus allegedly carried out by Israel, Iran has already taken action, commandeering the partially Israeli-owned ship MSC ARIES in the Straits of Hormuz and relocating it to Iranian territorial waters.

Verbal warnings from President Biden, often prefaced with the word “DON’T,” have proven insufficient to establish a credible deterrent policy.

Thus, it’s no surprise that Hamas, with Iranian backing, launched an attack on Israel on October 7, joined by Hezbollah and other Iranian affiliates in the Middle East.

The Iran-led “axis of evil” has keenly observed President Biden’s perceived leniency in the region, exacerbated by his strained relations with Prime Minister Netanyahu.

They exploit this perceived weakness to advance their own agenda, including Iran’s pursuit of nuclear capabilities.

Both Israel and the Iranian security apparatus are frustrated by President Biden’s perceived laxity, especially as he seeks a second term.

Despite Iran’s aggressive actions, the Biden administration continues to turn a blind eye.

Internally, Iran faces criticism from hawkish elements within the Revolutionary Guards for what they perceive as a lack of decisive action against Israeli attacks on Iranian targets and assassinations of senior Guard members.

Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s firm response to the assassination of General Hassan Mahdavi in Damascus, attributed to Israel, reflects growing pressure to demonstrate resolve.

While Israel possesses superior military strength, waging a conventional war against Iran and its affiliates simultaneously would prove challenging without US support.

The US, with its formidable military capabilities and demonstrated willingness to engage in prolonged conflicts, has the power to dismantle Iran’s military and rally international support against it, as seen in the overthrow of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s regime.

Israel, while not seeking all-out war, remains prepared to defend itself.

It plans to neutralize Hamas in the Gaza Strip and confront Hezbollah to secure its northern border.

Despite neither Iran nor Israel desiring regional conflict, Iran finds encouragement in President Biden’s Middle East policy, which jeopardizes the security interests of both the US and Israel.

Yoni Ben Menachem Senior Middle East Analyst

About Yoni Ben Menachem

Yoni Ben Menachem is a Middle East senior analyst ,a journalist and
the former CEO of the Israel Broadcasting Authority(IBA). He has
decades of experience in written and video journalism. Ben
Menachem’s path in the media world began as a producer for
Japanese television in the Middle East. After that, he held many key
positions in the media The Israeli: CEO of the Israel Broadcasting
Authority, director of “Kol Israel” Radio, reporter on West Bank and
Gaza Strip affairs, political reporter and commentator, commentator
on Middle East affairs and editor-in-chief and presenter of the
program “Middle East Magazine”. 

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