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Israel is Getting the U.S. into Hot Waters

The U.S. has been thrust into a potential direct conflict with Iran because of Israel's alleged attack near the Iranian Embassy in Damascus, Syria on April 1st that killed at least nine Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps personnel.

This drone strike escalated the Israel-Hamas conflict by bringing Israel and Iran into direct conflict. The aggression between the two risks potential nuclear war due to their alleged atomic capabilities. 

Worse yet, the U.S. has already been drawn into the conflict with other allies and leading Middle Eastern nations including the U.K., France and Jordan. These nations were tasked with putting down the Iranian responsorial barrage of rockets amidst strict Iranian threats to American personnel in the Middle East. Leaders in D.C. have been trying to reassure Iran that America had no prior knowledge of the Israeli attacks, but these reassurances have not been met with complete satisfaction from Iran.

Therefore, there are two main concerns: Iran directly attacks Israel and/or America.

The first concern was confirmed on Saturday the 13th when Iran sent over 200 missiles, rockets, and drones to strike Israel. Luckily, Israel's anti-missile defense system and the aforementioned efforts of the U.S., U.K., France and Jordan were able to stop nearly the whole attack, limiting the death toll to a reported one.

However, the second concern is part of a growing trend of dissatisfaction with American foreign policy by many Muslim-majority nations and plenty of others. They hold America accountable for the crimes in Gaza creating an expanding generation of world citizens that despise the U.S. This feeling is shared by the leadership in Tehran. More pertinent is the question as to whether the Iranian leaders also hold America accountable for the Damascus attack allegedly by Israel. If Iran comes to suspect American involvement, an Iranian attack would be imminent.

The risk of Iran attacking America is cause for great concern, for it could bring about a compilation of retaliatory strikes from both sides that could escalate into a war and potentially a nuclear war. This potential war would likely pit many countries against each other threatening to incite another world war.

These matters came to a head on April 19th when Israel is believed to have fired their own barrage of drones and other missiles into Iran with some reports claiming an attack on the uranium enrichment facility in Natanz, Isfahan Province. This facility is where Iran’s nuclear weapons program is believed to be based if they have one.

While the initial reactions saw reports of immense threats by Iran, both nations appear to have quieted down as Israel and Iran now know each others’ abilities to strike within their respective borders. 

Nevertheless, the longer Israel wages war without regard for international law, the longer the U.S. is susceptible to being dragged into a dangerous war for retaliatory reasons because America is seen as an Israeli ally. Another key factor comes from the security guarantees from the U.S. to Israel against Iran on the condition that Iran attacks Israel. These guarantees could create a casus belli from the American perspective to start a war with Iran, if Israel is to strike Iran again, leaving the U.S. in an awkward place where they either escalate tensions or appear weak and not true to their threats. This latter option would embolden terrorists and other bad actors to commit acts against Americans.

Either way, Israel’s actions have already drawn the U.S. into indirect conflict with Iran through direct conflicts with Iran’s proxy movements including the Houthi rebels of Yemen and Shia militias of Iraq and Syria.

While Israel has a right to defend itself and while Israel is a very close ally with the U.S., America must take the lead in de-escalation or else they risk direct Iranian attacks on Americans if Israel commits another 1st of April-like attack. America must further remember to limit guarantees if Israel seeks greater escalation, or else risk direct involvement to save face or experience perceived weakness through backing down.

Acknowledgment: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the individual author.


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