Tehran has an endgame in sight: Use the Israel-Hamas war to establish Iran as a declared nuclear weapon state.
The likelihood that Hamas orchestrated the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks in Israel on its own is near zero.
Hamas knew its military infrastructure and leadership would get hammered by Israel in response. The residents of the Gaza Strip would get caught in the crossfire. Why take the risk at all?
There could well be bigger game afoot here. Hamas has undertaken a proxy war for Iran.
It will get worse. There already are reports of fighting in the north of Israel and incursions by Hezbollah, another Iranian surrogate, from Lebanon.
Hezbollah has even more combat power than Hamas. When Hezbollah attacks, this will become a really big war.
The likely Israeli response would be to cripple any offensive action by Hezbollah. In Gaza, the Israel Defense Forces likely won’t stop until the military has decimated Hamas’ infrastructure.
It’s unlikely that Israel will reoccupy Gaza, but the IDF won’t wind up operations until military leaders are positive that Hamas has no offensive capability to attack again anytime soon.
Iran can’t expect to achieve the destruction of Israel. But the Islamist regime can hope for a debilitating and bloody campaign that hobbles Israel and humiliates the U.S.
With a weakened Israel, already torn by domestic strife, and a hapless U.S. president in the throes of a reelection campaign—this would be the perfect time for Iran to declare that it has nuclear weapons.
Iran could race to declare its nuclear status before the dust settles and before President Joe Biden’s term expires in January 2025, leaving America’s next president—whoever that is—with the reality that a new nuclear state exists in the Middle East.
With Israel and America distracted and diminished, other Middle East powers will be scrambling. Do they rush to get nuclear arms of their own? Do they hedge by getting closer to China? Or Russia?
Once Iran jumps out of the nuclear blocks, there’s no telling what the Islamist regime might do. The most obvious scenario might be a bit of old-fashioned nuclear blackmail: a blockade of oil shipments by Persian Gulf states, only to be lifted under conditions set by Tehran. That would trigger another global energy crisis.
If the U.S. and Israel stumble through this conundrum, maybe Iran will decide it’s not time to pull the trigger and declare itself a nuclear power. What is super scary is that the mullahs now have that option—because Biden set them up to get there.
The Biden administration arguably is responsible for at least $43 billion in funding for Iran, as my colleague Tyler O’Neil writes at The Daily Signal, citing the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. (The Daily Signal is Heritage’s news outlet.)
Let’s be honest. Biden tried to buy off Iran and the ruling mullahs screwed him. He is the laughingstock of geopolitics.
The only way Biden gets back in the game is to stop sleepwalking through history, immediately lead the U.S. and the rest of the region in a serious, no-kidding, no-mercy response to Iran to punish it for setting the region on fire for its own malicious purposes.
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