A red line and a handful of options

Ayatoallah Ali Khamenei during an audience. Iran’s footprint is behind most of the conflicts that inflame the Middle East (Europa Press) (-/Iranian Supreme Leader’s Offic/)

For almost 45 years Iran is determined to make Middle East an unbearable boiling point. Beyond the erratic policies of the Western powers, the regime led first by the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and since his death in 1989 by Ali Khamenei, has dedicated his time to trying to bring his revolution and worldview not only to neighboring countries, but to the rest of the world. Such is his evangelizing mandate.

To do this, it created cells and armed arms that spread throughout the entire region, but that had international significance. Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite terrorist force, is its main example. It is currently commanded by Hassan Nasrallah. That armed wing, with a political presence in a country that was once an example of stability and prosperity, extended its tentacles to the entire globe. Latin America It is one of its most significant poles of action.

In those more than four decades, Tehran He built structures and was more than receptive to financing different armed groups. This is also the case of the Houthi militias in Yemen that control a large part of that Arabian country and represent a permanent headache for Saudi Arabiahistorical enemy of Iran. These rebels have been strengthened since October 7, the day of the terrorist group’s massacre. Hamas against the Israeli people.

Hamas, although with Sunni roots, is another of the beneficiaries. It receives much of its financing from the Iranian regime. There are no theological barriers that stop any movement if the common objective is to make the Israel. Qatar He is also part of the club of friends of the Palestinian extremists, although for some time he has been trying to change his image and shows himself to the world as a negotiator who can be trusted. The lives of the 136 hostages held captive in the Gaza tunnels depend largely on his efforts. For many, a question of public affairs.

Since that gloomy October Saturday, Middle East was once again the center of attraction. All eyes turned to that incandescent region. Ukrainepunished by Russia For almost two years, it has taken a back seat in global consideration. Celebrates Vladimir Putinwho will make his troops spend another harsh winter sheltering in the trenches, while waiting for European morale to completely collapse.

Middle East Conflict Iran (Marcelo Regalado)
Infographic: Marcelo Regalado.-

That fateful day also marked a break in the harassment of pro-Iranian militias spread across Syria and Iraq towards North American bases stationed in the area. Also the Houthis, suddenly championed by the Palestinian cause, began to hurt world trade by firing drones at cargo ships passing through the Gulf of Aden Way to Red Sea. This harassment is damaging the global supply chain and making freight costs more expensive. It also affects China, who says to complain to Iran quietly. So low that no one hears it.

But this Sunday’s attack against the Tower 22 -a North American supply center close to the triple border between Jordan, Syria and Iraqkey to the fight against Islamic State– crossed a Red line. Three soldiers died: William Rivers, Kennedy Sanders and Breonna Moffett. The drone attack was attributed by Washington to the Islamic Resistance of Iraqa group financed by Iran. The theocratic regime tried to detach itself, something to be expected.

Joe Biden He promised to respond to that crime. Pressured by him Republican Party, its administration evaluates different options. According to an article published by The Wall Street Journalthe White House It has three or four paths to take: a selective bombing of a target in Iranian territory or waters, something that has not happened since the 1980s; attacking Iranian targets abroad, as happened in January 2020 with the general of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad; wipe out those groups supported by the regime with bombings; deepen economic sanctions against Tehran with the support of allied countries. Or a combination of some of them.

The first of the alternatives is the most risky. He could extend a war that was supposed to focus on Gaza Strip to the entire region and the world. The questions would be multiple as allies on both sides would begin to get more actively involved: Iran wove a broad partnership with Russia, China and North Korea. Has oiled ties on Latin America Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela– and in Africa South Africa, with his anti-Israeli “deed.” Specifically in the region he would only find alliances in Syria and in a dismembered Iraq.

His bombing against a Sunni group that he considers terrorist strained relations with Pakistan, who responded in the same way. So much Tehran as Islamabad They claimed to have turned the page after the call for consultations from their ambassadors. But the injuries – and the deaths caused – are still too fresh to rule out that another outbreak could arise there. India watches.

For these hours, Washington Weigh your alternatives. You could take some time before acting. It also knows that it must be forceful enough to deter any other attack that would lead to a new American death in an overly critical and sensitive context. The answer must be so convincing that another red line that could be definitive and change the present as we know it is not crossed again.

x: @TotiPI