NewsAmid escalating conflict, Iran-backed militia attack threatens U.S.-Iran relations

Amid escalating conflict, Iran-backed militia attack threatens U.S.-Iran relations

Amid escalating conflict, Iran-backed militia attack threatens U.S.-Iran relations
Images source: © Getty Images | 2024 Majid Saeedi
4:42 AM EST, March 1, 2024
By January 28, 2024, the existence of the Tower 22 military base in Jordan, housing several hundred US soldiers, was not widely known among Americans. This base served as a remnant of the operations against the Islamic State.
Historically, US soldiers in the region have faced attacks—emphasized by the events following October 7, when Hamas attacked Israel, leading to two assaults on Tower 22. Tragically, a third attack resulted in the death of three soldiers and injured over forty.
"We will not only defend ourselves"
The attack was attributed to Kata’ib Hezbollah, a Shiite Iraqi militia allied with Iran's Islamic Resistance. This spotlighted Iran's involvement, especially since Iranian Shahed drones—similar to those used by Russia in Ukraine—were implicated.
Mike Turner, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, stated, "All responsibility paths lead to Iran,” urging a response that would make Iran recognize the US's determination to defend itself. Senator Roger Wicker echoed this sentiment, advocating for direct strikes on Iranian targets and leadership in response to Iran's aggression.
These accusations and calls for action place President Joe Biden in a difficult position, reviving discussions on the perceived leniency towards Iran—a stance not unique to his administration.
The debate over how to address Iran's actions includes historical episodes such as John Bolton's 2015 assertion that bombing Iran was necessary to halt its nuclear ambitions. Despite this, President Donald Trump withdrew the US from the nuclear agreement with Iran, a move not deemed to enhance global safety or predictability.
Notably, the assassination of Gen. Ghasem Soleimani at the behest of Mike Pompeo marked a significant escalation, questioning the consequences of US strikes on Iran.
"If you strike, we will strike harder"
President of the USA Joe Biden
President of the USA Joe Biden© Getty Images
In response to the Tower 22 shelling, Amir Sajjed Iravani, Iran's UN representative, warned of a decisive retaliation against any attack on Iran. Despite this, Iranian authorities denied involvement in the attack, which was followed by Kata’ib Hezbollah's commitment to cease attacks on American targets, signaling Iran's intent to de-escalate the situation between Tehran and Washington.
A man carries a photo of Qasem Soleimani, the commander of al-Quds, a special unit within the structure of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, killed in an American attack in Baghdad.
A man carries a photo of Qasem Soleimani, the commander of al-Quds, a special unit within the structure of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, killed in an American attack in Baghdad.© Getty Images | Morteza Nikoubazl
Jasir Arafat and Ayatollah Khomeini in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution in Iran
Jasir Arafat and Ayatollah Khomeini in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution in Iran© Getty Images | Alain Dejean
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