America must take control of events in the Middle East

The current outbreak of violence in the region is a direct result of America’s appeasement of Iran.

U.S. Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley. Credit: VOA Persian/Wikimedia Commons.
U.S. Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley. Credit: VOA Persian/Wikimedia Commons.
Eric Levine
Eric Levine
Eric R. Levine is a founding member of the New York City law firm Eiseman, Levine, Lehrhaupt & Kakoyiannis, P.C. He is an essayist, political commentator and fundraiser for Republican candidates with an emphasis on the U.S. Senate.

War is breaking out in the Middle East. The United States must decide if it will take control of events and advance our national security interests. If we allow events to spin out of control, we will limit our options and increase the probability of an American defeat.

The current outbreak of violence in the Middle East is a direct result of America’s appeasement of Iran. This must end.

One need only look at the facts on the ground: In just one week, U.S. Navy warships in the Gulf of Oman frustrated Iranian efforts to hijack two merchant ships and take the crews hostage. Russian jets engaged American drones in the skies above Syria. Israel attacked Iran-backed terrorists in the town of Jenin. Iran’s proxy, Hezbollah, launched rockets at Israel and Israel retaliated.

Most ominously, the Biden administration announced that its special Iran envoy, Robert Malley, had his security clearance suspended.

Iran attempted the hijackings in order to replenish its supply of hostages and thus extract further concessions from the U.S. and its allies. This is because four Western hostages are likely to be exchanged for sanctions relief in a new informal nuclear deal with the White House.

If the White House were serious about ensuring free navigation of the seas, the American destroyer USS McFaul would have sunk Iran’s warships. Ronald Reagan did something similar when he sank half of Iran’s navy during the tanker wars in the 1980s. As a result of Reagan’s actions, the tanker wars ended.

Biden could have achieved a similar result. But the administration is so petrified that Iran will walk away from the current nuclear negotiations that Biden is unwilling to take decisive action.

The Russian harassment of American drones reminds us that Russia is in Syria only because former President Barack Obama failed to enforce his “red line” when war criminal Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons against his own people.

Obama crawled to Russian President Vladimir Putin and begged him for help. Putin bailed him out and, in exchange, Obama agreed to a permanent Russian presence in Syria.

That was a colossal setback for the U.S., because Russia had been frozen out of the Middle East since 1973.

Obama balked at enforcing his “red line” because Assad is Iran’s closest ally in the Arab world. The former president feared that if he attacked Assad, Iran would walk away from the negotiating table.

Israel’s military engagements in Jenin and on the Lebanese border are connected. Islamic Jihad and Hamas in Jenin and Hezbollah in Lebanon are all proxies of Iran. Iran can fund this terrorist network because of the tens of billions of dollars in sanctions relief it received as part of Obama’s 2015 nuclear deal (the JCPOA).

To truly understand this absurdity, it is important to remember that the Iranian economy was on the verge of collapse until Obama saved it with the nuclear deal. Had Obama done nothing, Iran’s economy and with it the ayatollah regime would likely have collapsed. Iran’s Islamist regime governs today because Obama saved it. In thanks, Iran now funds terrorists to kill Israelis.

Biden wants to repeat Obama’s mistake and make a new arrangement with Iran that includes another infusion of billions of dollars into the Iranian economy. Thus, the administration’s public statements that it recognizes Israel’s right to defend itself against terrorism ring rather hollow. In effect, the administration wants to underwrite Iran’s ability to train and arm the very terrorists Israel confronts every day.

Worst of all, the Biden administration’s sanctions relief will bankroll Iran’s war against the United States. Iran is responsible for directly attacking or orchestrating attacks via its proxies on American forces in Iraq and Syria. Over 80 such attacks have occurred during Biden’s term.

To date, the administration has responded with only four token attacks on a few meaningless jihadis in Iraq and Syria. Biden is afraid to attack Iran directly because, like Obama, he is concerned that the ayatollah will walk away from the negotiating table.

Clearly, a strong argument can be made that financially starving our enemies is a better strategy than funding them.

Nothing illustrates the folly of the Iran appeasement policy better than the fact that the JCPOA gave Iran a legal path to a nuclear weapon, a ballistic missile system to deliver it and billions of dollars in sanctions relief to fund Iran’s military and terrorist network.

Unless America changes course, Biden’s policy will produce a nuclear Iran. That will result in a nuclear arms race in the region. The world will become an even more dangerous place than it is today.

This brings us to Biden’s special envoy Robert Malley, a former member of Obama’s JCPOA negotiating team. Why was his security clearance revoked? Did Malley leak classified information to Iran?

Credible information suggests that, in 2012, Obama leaked American intelligence to Iran about an Israeli plan to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities in order to pressure Israel to call off the strike.

Malley does not have the legal power to declassify information. However, it is not unthinkable that a staunch appeaser like Malley leaked classified information to Iran on Israel’s plans or ability to attack Iran’s nuclear program. Perhaps he even leaked classified information concerning how America would respond in the event of such an attack.

Clearly, Americans are entitled to know why Malley lost his security clearance.

Obama and now Biden’s appeasement of Iran has led America to the brink of disaster. The U.S. is adrift in the region and around the world. A strong coalition led by the United States, with Israel and our Sunni Arab partners, is the only thing that can persuade Iran to drop its nuclear ambitions. Failing that, an attack at a time and place and in a manner of our choosing will allow America to control events rather than become their victim.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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