The Enemy Is Iran

Media Fellow
 Iranian missiles exhibited in a park on January 20, 2024, in Tehran, Iran. (Majid Saeedi via Getty Images)
Iranian missiles exhibited in a park on January 20, 2024, in Tehran, Iran. (Majid Saeedi via Getty Images)

This week marks one month since three Americans were killed by an Iranian suicide drone at their post in Jordan. All three of them, like me, were Georgia natives who volunteered to serve their fellow Americans in the U.S. Army: Sgt. William Jerome Rivers, 46, of Carrollton, Georgia; Sgt. Kennedy Ladon Sanders, 24, of Waycross; and Sgt. Breonna Alexsondria Moffett, 23, of Savannah.

Their sacrifice demands that all of our leaders frankly acknowledge the strategic imperative we have to confront Iran – and make sure our service members are no longer sitting ducks and easy targets for our enemies.

Since the October 7th Hamas attack on Israel, Iran-backed militants are causing chaos throughout the Middle East and American troops are on the front lines. This is a coordinated effort by the radical Islamist regime in Tehran. It’s pace and intensity have increased since the fighting in Gaza broke out, but this is a long-term challenge and we’re overdue to address it.

Iran’s interest in the Hamas-Israel conflict is unequivocal. They are engineering an assault on Israel, and on U.S. support of Israel and other allies, on all fronts. The mad men who run Iran are now looking for a sign of weakness from the United States. We cannot give them one.

Iran has woven an intricate web of terror proxies in the region, and their targets are not just on Israel, but the United States and all the great principles for which we stand.

In Gaza and the West Bank, Iran funds Hamas, an organization chartered to kill all Jews. In Yemen, Iran backs Houthi rebels that use Iranian-made missiles to attack shipping vessels in the Red Sea – disrupting up to one-fifth of the world’s cargo trade. In Lebanon, Iran props up Hezbollah to lob rockets and missiles across the northern border of Israel. And Iran’s proxy militias in Syria and Iraq are attacking U.S. troops at an escalating rate. In fact, the U.S. has reported nearly 170 attacks against American forces in the Middle East by Iran-backed groups since mid-October.

Iran’s mullahs are not content to merely repress their own countrymen. They seek to reach beyond their own borders and their supreme leader says they seek to lead a coalition of “anti-American countries.”

Iran is so emboldened that its Foreign Ministry spokesman had the audacity to call the United States’ retaliatory strikes in Iraq and Syria a “strategic mistake,” threatening that it will “[intensify] tension and instability in the region.” Clearly, it will take more than a tit-for-tat response to end these attacks on U.S. forces.

We must reestablish deterrence in the region. Our enemies should live in constant fear of escalation with the United States – not the other way around. Any response that minimizes the Iranian threat only makes the problem worse. Indeed, force is the only language that the Iranian regime will understand.

Sgt. Rivers, Sgt. Sanders, and Sgt. Moffett are heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice for our great nation. Their deaths are a devastating result of Iran’s proxy war, and a stark reminder that our brave soldiers are on the front lines against a vast, allied terror network in the Middle East.

The Islamic Republic of Iran is the catalyst for all our problems in the Middle East. Their connection to each and every individual threat is not episodic and not coincidental. It’s time we admit it, and act accordingly. 

To do otherwise puts too many brave Americans at risk. 

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