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Iran sets Mideast on fire as critics say Biden policies failed: ‘Further recklessness’

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JERUSALEM — The Biden administration is lost in the Middle East and in Central Asia because of its misguided policy toward its enemies, ranging from Iran’s regime to the Taliban to Hezbollah, according to experts contacted by Fox News Digital.

The Islamic Republic of Iran launched drone and missile attacks into Iraq, Syria and Pakistan in less than 24 hours starting on Tuesday. The regime’s open warfare follows its military aid to Hamas ahead of the organization’s massacre of 1,200 people on Oct. 7 in southern Israel, including more than 30 Americans.

The heightened pro-war feeling was on display last Tuesday in the capital city of Tehran, where the clerical regime blanketed a building with a banner that warned its enemies in Hebrew and Farsi to ‘Prepare your coffins.’ Pro-Iran regime activists gathered in front of the banner to show fealty to the Islamic Republic. 

OUTRAGE AS IRAN PRESIDENT PREPARES TO ADDRESS UN: ‘WANTS TO KILL AMERICAN CITIZENS’ 

The Islamic Republic’s foreign policy has long been animated by the country’s late revolutionary anti-Western founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who famously declared, ‘All of Islam is politics.’ 

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who succeeded Khomeini, has announced that ‘Death to America will happen. In the new order I am talking about, America will no longer have any important role.’

The other pillar of Iran’s foreign policy is, according to Khamenei, ‘Death to Israel.’

The rapid spread of Khomeini-style radical Islamism across the Middle East, including aiding the Lebanese-based terrorist movement Hezbollah, is just one window onto the courtyard of a deficient Biden foreign policy, according to experts.

Walid Phares, a Lebanese-American academic expert on the Mideast, told Fox News Digital ‘The Biden administration resumed the Obama Mideast policies entirely, but with further recklessness, yielding a domino effects worldwide and particularly in the Middle East and North Africa. The removal of the Houthis from U.S. terror lists in February 2021 signaled that Washington was making concessions to Iran at the expense of the Arab coalition and to the advantage of Iran. In August, the apocalyptic withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the transfer of power and weapons to the Taliban, broke the backbone of U.S. anti-Jihadist strategy. It also messaged the anti-American forces that the U.S. are hurdling towards a global retreat.’

A U.S. State Department spokesperson countered by telling Fox News Digital in a statement that ‘Secretary Blinken and the Department have focused on promoting both stability and regional integration in the Middle East since the beginning of the administration and especially since the Israel-Hamas conflict broke out on October 7. The Secretary has made four trips to the region since October 7 – during which period, the United States has helped negotiate temporary humanitarian pauses in Gaza, secure the release of 110 hostages, and promote the delivery of critical humanitarian aid to Gaza.’

IRAN MOVES TOWARD POSSIBLE ATOM BOMB TEST IN DEFIANCE OF WESTERN SANCTIONS: INTEL REPORT 

The spokesperson added, ‘Our most critical and enduring interest in Afghanistan is to ensure that it never again becomes a safe haven for those who wish to harm the United States or our allies.’

‘We closely watch the Taliban’s treatment of the people of Afghanistan. As we have said – in public and in private with Taliban representatives – their relationship with the international community depends entirely on their actions. Ultimately the United States wants to see Afghanistan at peace with itself and its neighbors, and able to stand on its own two feet,’ the State Department spokesperson stated.

According to Phares, who served as an adviser to President Trump, ‘The Biden administration made dangerous choices regarding U.S. traditional friends and allies, especially by pressuring Israel to delay any action against Iran’s aggressive behavior in the region, and also pressures on Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, regarding their containment of the Houthis in Yemen, leading to a lionization of the Ansarallah, hence encouraging them to hold the maritime line in the Red Sea hostage.’

Ansarallah, which is generally known as the Houthis, was relisted as a terrorist organization by the U.S. on Wednesday. Biden, to the wonderment of many counter-terrorism experts, delisted the Houthi movement as a terrorist entity at the start of his term in 2021. ‘Allah is Greater. Death to America. Death to Israel. Curse on the Jews. Victory to Islam’ is the slogan of the Houthis.

One foreign policy expert presented a more mixed analysis of Biden’s role on the international stage. Fox News Digital asked Michael E. O’Hanlon, a senior fellow and director of research in foreign policy at the Washington D.C.-based Brookings Institution, about the White House’s foreign policy strategy and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan.

Sullivan penned an essay for Foreign Affairs just prior to Oct. 7 in which he boasted, ‘The war in Yemen is in its 19th month of truce, for now the Iranian attacks against U.S. forces have stopped, our presence in Iraq is stable, I emphasize for now because all of that can change and the Middle East region is quieter today than it has been in two decades.’

O’Hanlon told Fox News Digital, ‘The Afghanistan withdrawal was a mistake. Jake’s article was mistaken. But I see no other major evidence of a lack of vigilance or resolve.’

Jason Brodsky, the policy director of the U.S.-based United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI), told Fox News Digital that he views the Biden administration’s marriage to rekindling the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the formal name for the Iran nuclear deal, as the first flawed departure point of the White House.

Biden wishes to inject more than $100 billion into Iran’s coffers as part of a revived JCPOA deal, according to one think tank estimate, in exchange for Tehran pledging to impose temporary restrictions on its nuclear weapons program.

‘I think the Biden administration’s Iran policy has repeatedly failed. The effort to revive the JCPOA collapsed, and then its informal de-escalatory understandings with Tehran to keep the Iran file off the president’s desk before the 2024 presidential election collapsed. This is because the administration’s strategy is premised on faulty and outdated assumptions about the Islamic Republic. It also does not understand the Iranian leadership’s psychology. Ignoring Iran and avoiding Iran does not work,’ he said.

Brodsky added, ‘The Biden administration’s public messaging has also been extremely weak. The constant pleas that the U.S. does not seek conflict with Iran makes an impression in Tehran: That the American government is more fearful of the Islamic Republic than the Islamic Republic is of the American government. That only emboldens the supreme leader to escalate. President Biden is seen as a predictable and non-threatening adversary for the supreme leader. That’s a dangerous perception. If the U.S. government wants to deter Iran, it can’t focus solely on its expendable proxies. It has to strike strategic targets that hold value for the Iranian leadership in order to restore deterrence and deescalate.’

Phares concurred with Brodsky about the principal role that Iran’s regime plays in fomenting regional volatility. 

‘The Iran regime is the central source of terror and destabilization in the region, followed by the metastasizing Islamist forces that are now taking advantage of the militant organized migrations in the Mediterranean and across the Rio Grande, both facilitated by radical lobbies, constitute today the global threat against Western democracies, in addition to the Ukraine War and Western divisions,’ said Phares.

Iran’s rapidly advancing program to weaponize a nuclear warhead remains foremost in the thinking of countries affected by Tehran’s desire to obliterate them.

American physicist and nuclear weapons expert David Albright warned on Jan. 8 that ‘Given short warning times and few prospects of a nuclear deal, the United States and its allies have little choice other than focusing on a strategy to deter Iran from deciding to build nuclear weapons in the first place.’

Albright’s report recommended that ‘Iran needs to be made fully aware via concrete demonstrations that building nuclear weapons will trigger quick, drastic actions by the international community, including military strikes. U.S. military cooperation with Israel aimed at destroying Iran’s nuclear capabilities should be bolstered, ensuring Israel can decisively strike Iran’s nuclear sites on short notice if there are signs that Iran is moving to build nuclear weapons, including the ability of delivering a second strike if Iran reconstitutes those activities.’

When asked about the Iranian threat, a State Department spokesperson referred Fox News Digital to a comment made by spokesperson Matt Miller on Nov. 14: ‘When it comes to holding Iran accountable for its destabilizing activities, I would remind you that we have imposed more than 400 sanctions on Iran since the outset of this administration. In the past few weeks, we have taken a number of actions to ensure deterrence and … the Pentagon has conducted strikes against Iranian-backed militias. And we will continue to hold … Iran accountable for its destabilizing behavior in a number of manners.’

This post appeared first on FOX NEWS

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