Iran could “test the waters as to how far they could provoke the US”, an expert has warned, while also tearing apart Joe Biden for “sending a message of weakness” as tensions between Tehran and the US skyrocket.
Since the on Israel that killed 1,200 people on October 7, Iran’s support for Hamas has come into sharp focus with its proxy group Hezbollah now also heavily involved in the conflict, launching missile strikes at Israeli targets.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei denied his country was involved in the Hamas bombardment of Israel, but during a speech last month, said: “America is a definite accomplice of criminals. The United States is in some way directing the crime that is being committed in Gaza.”
During recent weeks, Iran-backed militias have launched a string of missile attacks against US bases in Syria, with American forces conducting air strikes of their own on sites believed to be used by Iranian troops.
Nile Gardiner, a Washington-based foreign policy expert, warned that while Iran is already heavily involved in the Israel-Hamas war, it could try to test the patience of the US in a move that could see already volatile tensions completely explode.
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He told Daily Express US: “Iran is heavily involved in the Israel conflict in terms of their support for both Hamas and Hezbollah, as well as their use of proxy groups in Iraq, Syria and Yemen. Iran is therefore already up to their necks in terms of involvement.
But what the Iranian regime could do is test the waters as to how far they could provoke the US.”]
“It’s therefore only a matter of time before Iran significantly ramps up its attacks on US bases, personnel, and interests.”
Last month, the US built a massive military presence in the Middle East with the aim of sending a strong message to Iran to stay out of the Israel-Hamas war.
The Pentagon placed around 2,000 troops in a state of readiness and deployed the USS Gerald R. Ford – the world’s largest warship that can ferry 75 aircraft – to the Eastern Mediterranean, as Israel prepared to launch a ground invasion into Gaza as
But Mr Gardiner claimed the Biden administration has not gone far enough to deter Iran, accusing the president of “sending a message of weakness”.
He continued: “The unfortunate situation is the Biden administration has not really responded in any strong fashion to attacks on US bases and servicemen in the Middle East by Iranian proxy groups, so this sends a message of weakness.
“The Biden administration, against Iran, has launched very limited military operations and hasn’t really done anything.
“Weakness invites more aggression and I suspect that Iranian regime views Biden as weak, so they will test the waters further.”
“If Donald Trump was president, he would have already struck directly against Iranian interests, as he did during his time in the White House.