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Biden strikes Iranian base in Syria
US signals “compartmentalization” in relations, Iran threatens ‘no nuclear deal’
President Joe Biden ordered an aerial attack on a base in Syria that houses pro-Iran militias, leading to the death of 17 militia men, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a highly credible source.
The American attack comes a week after a US base in Irbil, northern Iraq, suffered a missile attack by pro-Iran militias, leading to the death of one personnel.
In political lingo, Biden’s attack is a signal to Iran, and the rest of the world, that Washington is capable of “compartmentalizing” its relation with Iran, that is to say, even if America rejoins JCPOA, the nuclear deal with Iran, and everything goes back to where it was before former President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal in May 2018, America’s return does not mean automatic American-Iranian agreement on the non-nuclear issues.
Biden’s officials have repeatedly said that the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran was designed in such a way to allow for a “deal over nuclear” alongside “continued conflict” over disputed non-nuclear issues, mainly Iran’s global sponsorship of terrorism, including of militias across the Middle East, in addition to Iran’s ongoing development of its missile program.
Biden’s strike seems to have caught Iran and its Washington lobby off guard. The Iranian lobby quickly organized a session on Clubhouse, as pro-Iran regime American Tweeps openly threatened Biden, saying that such a strike threatens the revival of JCPOA, and no JCPOA “makes America less safe.”
Meanwhile, the Democratic establishment, perhaps with a nod from Biden, rushed to minimize the strike. The New York Times quoted Pentagon officials as saying that they offered the US president several options for retaliation against the Iranian attack on the US base in Irbil, and that Biden chose “the smallest one.”
Be it as it may, it is good to know that Biden is not a complete pushover in dealing with Iran, and that while America might seem nicer under Biden, it still has a whole lot of cards to play to make Iranian life even more miserable than it is now with Iran’s free falling economy.
How things will proceed from here on is anybody’s guess, even though one can be certain that voices inside the Biden Administration will be working overtime to convince Biden to stand down and go back to being nice with an always ungrateful Iran.