U.S. Iran Policy Unchanged Despite Iranian Involvement in 10/7

Since Hamas’s horrific October 7 massacre of some 1,200 people in Israel, mostly civilians, the Biden administration has acknowledged Iran’s broad complicity in the attacks because of its support for Hamas. The administration has also acknowledged Iranian proxies’ willingness to continue attacks against U.S. personnel and interests in the Middle East. Despite this, the administration’s accommodationist policy toward Iran remains unchanged, as most recently demonstrated by its extension of a sanctions waiver to allow Iraq to pay Iran for electricity using a previously frozen $10 billion account. U.S. Iran policy needs to catch up to the reality that the current Gaza war, and escalating violence around the region, would not have been possible without Iranian funding and arming of its proxy network around the Middle East—as evidenced by the public declarations of Iran, Hezbollah, and Hamas as well as reporting about Iran’s role in the attack detailed in the below infographic.

The Biden administration should replace its accommodation of the Tehran regime with confrontation, including: augmenting deterrence against Iran and its proxies; holding the regime accountable for proxy attacks by consistently expressing willingness to strike Iranian military targets if necessary; deploying KC-46A refueling tankers and air defense batteries to Israel; further bolstering military assets in the region; enforcing existing and imposing greater sanctions on Iran; rejecting further negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program; and supporting the Iranian peoples’ demands for a new government.