Ira Straus

Iran Refutes Biden, Says Direct Iran Role in Oct 7

It was meant to be a consolation for Iranians. But after six months of the Biden Administration shielding Iran from any military response to October 7 – to this end, denying the role of Iran in planning and executing the massacre — the world should realize it is an important confession.

It amounts to saying:

“Yes, we did it. When Biden denies it, he is just running interference for our own strategic fibbing. The reality is that we helped plan October 7. We helped execute it. It’s our duty. We’re proud of it. We’re going to do it again soon — and more. We’ll keep doing it until we wipe America and Israel off the face of the Middle East.”

What is the Iranian entity that made the confession?

It was SHANA, the Coalition Council of Islamic Revolution Forces. SHANA is headed by Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel, who is close to Ali Khamenei and is former Speaker of the Parliament. Its secretary is Parviz Sorouri, former IRGC commander.

What did SHANA exactly say?

It said that Mohammad Reza Zahedi, the IRGC commander who was killed by Israel while meeting with leaders of Palestinian Islamic Jihad [the terrorist action force alongside Hamas] April 1, had played a “strategic role in forming and strengthening the resistance front [Iran’s proxies that have been attacking U.S. forces and civilian ships in the Mideast since October 7] as well as in planning and executing Al-Aqsa Storm [the October 7 attack].”

That was the confession. Here is the threat that followed:

“The supporters of Tel Aviv should know that the Islamic Republic of Iran’s harsh and regrettable response to this bloody crime is on its way and will affect the future equations of the region, God willing.”

What should be done?

In a rational world, the U.S. would be urgently discussing with Israel how best to disarm Iran, forcibly and quickly. We need to disarm Iran of its Ballistic Missiles, its drone production, and its nuclear program, and do it before Iran uses them to devastating effect on us and Israel.

In a rational world, this discussion would have begun on October 8. It was needed to provide strategic cover for Israel, and to take away Hamas’ strategic cover and source of replenishments. If Iran had been disarmed, Hamas would have quickly folded. Most of the thousands of dead Gazans would have been spared.

It should begin now.

Why didn’t it? Because the U.S. instead began an opposite argument, which de facto said: “Don’t respond against Iran. Instead, repeat Iran’s denials that it was behind this attack.”

Why did Biden run this errand for Iran? No one can know for sure. He himself probably does not fully understand his own motives.

But we can discern two fairly obvious motives, and several probable deeper ones. The obvious ones:

  • He still wants to be the anti-Trump and not hurt Iran.
  • He still wants to be the new Obama and still dreams of reviving Obama’s nuclear deal, dead though everyone now admits it is.

The deeper ones:

  • He wants to split the difference in this war, as in the Ukraine war. He wants to be the wise man who sees all considerations. He wants to be the sophisticate who does not draw simplistic conclusions.
  • He does not want to see any decisive victory that transforms the situation in our favor. Like Obama, he feels it would be immoral for our side to win and change things for the better by military means.
  • He wants to go down in history as one who changed things for the better through fair negotiations with our enemies. He thinks of himself as having the almost unique foreign policy skill to do this.
  • And if and when Iran gets nuclear weapons and a real genocide results from this? He wants to be able to tell himself and his supporters that it’s all Iran’s fault, it’s none of his fault, because he tried his hardest to peacefully prevent it.

Whatever the balance between these motivations, they are not mature ones. They are more on the infantile side: self-serving, willfully blind, and radically self-indulgent.

They are, perhaps, the stuff one would expect from a Senate debater who makes long windy speeches, the kind who has come to confuse a nice-sounding argument with reality.

The world badly needs President Biden to finally grow up at this moment of peril.

The world needs Biden to open urgent consultations with Israel on all methods possible for disarming Iran. And to consult on this with a view, not to obstructing Israel some more, but of hopefully disarming Iran before it strikes Israel and the rest of us far too damagingly.

About the Author
Chair, Center for War/Peace Studies; Senior Adviser, Atlantic Council of the U.S.; formerly a Fulbright professor of international relations; studied at Princeton, UVA, Oxford. Institutions named above for identification purposes only; views expressed herein are solely the responsibility of the author.
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