Hidden behind the headlines on Ukraine, the Biden administration just moved one alarming step closer to war with Iran. According to Israel’s Channel 13, the U.S. has agreed to participate in Israel’s large-scale drill simulating a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities later this month. The Times of Israel noted that report was unsourced, but according to Axios, Israeli officials “confirmed that there will be U.S. participation.” (The Pentagon did not respond to Axios’ request for comment immediately.)
If the report turns out to be true, it will mark the first time that U.S. refueling planes take part in such an exercise with Israeli fighter jets. This suggests that Biden is moving further than any U.S. president in signaling approval for Israel to start war with Iran, despite his promise to rejoin the Iran nuclear deal, a multilateral agreement that prevented both an Iranian bomb and a region-wide war with Iran.
There can be little doubt about the signal Washington would be sending Tehran by participating in these Israeli drills: If and when Israel strikes Iran, it will have done so with the approval, assistance, and direct or indirect participation of the United States. Tehran will read an Israeli strike on Iran to effectively be an American declaration of war.
This is a major break from past U.S. policy, and Biden’s apparent willingness to side with Israel’s hawkishness against Iran is more in line with Trump-era thinking on Iran than it is with Obama- or even Bush-era policy. The Obama administration worked diligently to prevent Israel from bombing Iran, recognizing that Israel’s action would spark a regional war that would pull the U.S. deeper into entrapment in the Middle East.
Read the full article in MSNBC.