Iran supported Recent Strikes on Israel
Iran is now threatening to pull out of some of its commitments under the nuclear deal with remaining participants in Europe and China and has increased nuclear weapons programming. Iran supported rocket attacks from Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad came on Israel over the weekend causing the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group to be deployed. The US European Command (US EUCOM) provided Israel its Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system with a team of 250 soldiers in March. The Iranian leadership is hoping again that its nuclear weapons program will give them leverage for US sanctions relief. The US has responding with bold statements ready to defend the US and American interests in all areas where Iran is active and may attack US forces and allies.
The Iranian regime is risking scuttling any support they might maintain with Europe. Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May said, ““We are extremely concerned about this announcement and urge Iran to continue to meet its commitments under the deal.” The JCPOA however does not specify adequate conflict resolution procedures leaving international disputes unlikely to be resolved using that agreement. Parties will likely have to negotiate a new deal, and Iran is not likely to be with rewarded such handsome trade terms after deliberately amplifying their belligerence in the region and against their own people. Iranians suffering under this regime continue to push for a change in leadership. The Islamic Republic could be entering into its final days. The would completely change the power distribution in the Middle East and stabilize a long tormented region in desperate need of calm to rebuild in Syria and conclude hostilities in Yemen where genocide and famine have taken claim to much of the population.
The history of Iran and particularly the Iranian clergy shows an over-dependence on terror. Most countries in the region throughout the 20th century have struggled to build modern armies. Iran’s military under the shah became a formidable force the legacy of which the Islamic regime has built upon. However, terror networks continue to perform the more successful operations having stronger ideology, better funding through transnational crime, borderless recruiting, and cooperation with other criminal organizations. As long as these operations continue intimidate others, Iran will continue to support them and utilize their asymmetric tactics in place of conventional warfare. With North Korea now denuclearizing with Russian President Putin’s assistance, Iran’s remaining friends are taking the country further away from their larger goals such as joining the World Trade Organization in China’s footsteps. These setbacks will continue cost the regime support at home, a crucial asset or liability in the escalation of military tensions.