Israel-Iran tensions test limits of US policy amid Gaza war


Biden’s ‘ironclad’ backing of Israel is coming into conflict with the US’s stated goal of averting regional war, analysts say
Washington, DC
United States President Joe Biden had a brief but stern warning for Iran as it promised to retaliate against Israel for a deadly air raid on its consulate in Damascus: “Don’t.”
But analysts say that Iran likely will launch its own attack, raising fears of a regional war and showing the limits of US deterrence efforts in the Middle East.
The brinkmanship and resulting tensions have put further strain on Washington’s foreign policy. Already, the US is caught between two seemingly conflicting priorities: offering unconditional support for Israel and preventing the conflict in Gaza from expanding.
“Biden is doubling down on a formula that so far has been absolutely disastrous,” said Trita Parsi, executive vice president at the Quincy Institute, a think tank that promotes diplomacy.
Parsi said Biden should have rebuked Israel for attacking the Iranian embassy on April 1, violating international law and endangering US troops in the region.
But, he explained, the Biden administration is rewarding the Israeli government by promising to support it instead.
The US — unlike some of its Arab and Western allies — has not condemned the Israeli strike on the Iranian diplomatic facility in Syria, which killed seven members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), including two generals.
The White House, however, was quick to distance itself from the strike, stressing that the US was not involved in it.