FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, June 28, 2021
CONTACT: Ryan Costello | 202.386.6319 | [email protected]
Washington, DC – Ryan Costello, Policy Director with the National Iranian American Council, issued the following statement on the latest U.S. airstrikes on Iraqi militias linked to Iran in Iraq and Syria:
“It is deeply concerning that the Biden administration’s military strikes against militias linked to Iran are outpacing concrete diplomatic achievements. The Trump administration already proved that airstrikes under suspect authorities will not deescalate tensions with Iraqi militias linked to Iran but rather do the opposite. Yet the Biden administration has effectively continued them and echoed the prior administration’s legally dubious claims that such offensive strikes are de-escalatory. While the militias’ threats, rocket fire, and drone attacks targeting U.S. troops and bases are deeply concerning and should be rightly condemned, escalating a tit for tat is not an answer that will ensure safety and security. Only serious and urgent diplomacy can achieve that.
“The Biden administration’s Iran policy continues to look a lot like the Trump administration’s Iran policy precisely because President Biden has failed to take decisive steps to end the maximum pressure policies of his predecessor over nearly half a year. While the nuclear talks and regional tensions are not technically linked at the negotiating table, diplomatic progress has helped cool regional tensions in the past. Amid ongoing negotiations toward the JCPOA and the deal’s implementation under the Obama administration, U.S. and Iran-linked groups in Iraq operated in close proximity without issue, only for violence to return and sharply escalate following Trump’s abandonment of the accord.
“In addition to simmering regional tensions, Iran’s nuclear program continues to expand as the U.S. and Iran have slow-walked the path back into the deal. And just over a week ago, hardliners in Iran succeeded in consolidating their power as Iranians continue to struggle under repression, crushing sanctions and pandemic.
“If the U.S. fails to alter course, Biden will be left with only ill suited military options as regional and nuclear tensions escalate to new heights. It is past time for both the U.S. and Iran to deescalate through diplomacy while the window for negotiations is still open, and finalize the restoration of the nuclear deal.”
###Back to top