The bombing carried out at dawn on Sunday by a pro-Iranian militia against a US base in Jordan may have already irrevocably marked a point of no return in the open multi-front conflict in the Middle East. The Biden Administration assures that it will respond “consequently” to the aggression, in which three US soldiers died and 34 were injured, while Iran tries to disassociate itself from the attack to avoid escalation.
National Security Council spokesman John Kirby stated in an interview with CNN that the American president Joe Biden “will respond” to Sunday’s attack “in a very consistent manner.” «But we are not looking for a war with Iran. “We are not looking for a broader conflict in the Middle East,” he added.
The US president had already attributed the drone attack on Sunday to radical militias linked to Iran and warned that it would not go unpunished. At the same time, the alliance of armed groups called the Islamic Resistance in Iraq claimed responsibility, stating that it had hit three bases in Syrian territory, including Al Tanf and Rukban, very close to each other, on the border with Jordan.
It is the first time that American soldiers have lost their lives since the outbreak of the war between Israel and Hamas. The Pentagon raises to 150 the attacks carried out by pro-Tehran militias based in Syria and Iraq – a significant part of which was claimed by the aforementioned Islamic Resistance – against the interests of the United States and allies since mid-October.
From Tehran, the authorities of the Islamic Republic insisted on disassociating themselves from the attack that occurred early last Sunday. Through the permanent representative to the UN, the ayatollah regime claimed to have “no link or anything to do with the attack on the US base”, which it attributed to a “conflict between the United States and resistance groups in the region.” », according to a bulletin from the official Iranian agency IRNA.
For his part, the spokesman for the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Naser Kananiasserted that the “resistance groups” in the region do not take orders from Iran, and that the regime “does not interfere in their decisions on how to support the Palestinian nation or protect themselves and the people of their country from any aggression and occupation”.
According to another note reported by the official IRNA agency, the ministerial spokesperson stated that “since the beginning of the current crisis in Gaza, the Islamic Republic of Iran has repeatedly warned about the danger of expanding the scope of the conflict in the region due to the continuous attacks of the Zionist regime against the Palestinian people, as well as the broad support of the United States for the genocide of the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank.
The spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry went further and described the accusations about the link to the aggression that occurred in Jordan as “a conspiracy of those who see their interests in dragging the United States into a new battle in the region and inciting it to expand and escalate the crisis to cover up their problems.
However, the theocratic regime is trying to preserve an image of toughness and has announced the execution by hanging of four men accused of spying for Israel. In the same way, the Iranian propaganda media has highlighted the visit to Islamabad of the Iranian Foreign Minister a few days after the exchange of fire between the armies of Iran and Pakistan with the unequivocal intention of manifesting normality.
If, aware of its military inferiority, the mullahs’ regime is reluctant to open confrontation with the United States and Israel, the Biden Administration is no less reluctant, which has been working hard for weeks in a negotiation with the different regional actors with the objective of achieving a truce between Tel Aviv and Hamas in Gaza and thus avoid a regional war escalation.
Meanwhile, the governments of Jordan, Egypt and Bahrain condemned Sunday’s attack. The Jordanian Executive deplored “the terrorist attack that targeted an advanced position on the border with Syria”, hitting US troops “who cooperate with Jordan to confront terrorism and secure the border.”
For his part, the Hamas spokesman, Sami Abu Zuhri, said that the soldiers’ deaths “is a message to the American government that unless the murder of innocents in Gaza stops, it could confront the entire nation” of Muslims. “The continuation of the American-Zionist aggression in Gaza could cause a regional explosion,” added the representative of the Sunni Islamist organization in total control since 2007 of the political and military destinies of the Strip.
Tehran’s balances to avoid escalation
In a line similar to that maintained during the nearly four months since the Hamas aggression in Israel, the authorities of the Islamic Republic have once again distanced themselves from the action of the different forces. proxy which have since then simultaneously attacked Western interests in the Middle East, from Hezbollah’s bombings against Israel from Lebanon to the Houthi attacks in the waters of the Red Sea, through various Shiite militias based in Syria and Iraq and Hamas itself in Gaza, author of the kibbutz massacre of October 7. While the spokespersons for the mullahs’ regime assure that the “axis of resistance” is autonomous and sovereign, they have not avoided celebrating each of their attacks.