Iran flexes military advancements, increasing calls on Biden to act: ‘Weakness only invites more aggression’
On Monday, Iran unveiled a new sophisticated warship for its Caspian Sea fleet that it says will be ‘a ‘sea of peace and friendship’ and said Iran’s naval power there will serve ‘peace, security of commercial fleets, confronting terrorists and probable incidents in the future.’ The announcement comes shortly after the country claimed to have developed a new hypersonic ballistic missile, allegedly expanding one of the most dangerous military capabilities at their disposal.
‘Iran is continuing to try to signal that its military industries are impervious to and cannot be set back by sanctions, hence the pomp and circumstance here,’ Behnam Ben Taleblu, senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told Fox News Digital about the new Iranian warship. ‘Of note, the new vessel is to be deployed in the Caspian Sea, a sign of the regime’s increased securitization of the world’s largest lake and a major conduit for the drone trade with Russia.’
As Iran announces military advancements, Iranian-backed proxies have carried out dozens of attacks on American bases and interests in the Middle East since the Iran-backed Hamas terror organization attacked Israel, including in international waters where Yemen’s Houthi rebels have fired upon and hijacked ships in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.
‘Iran’s evolving anti-access, area-denial capabilities are likely to continue to trickle to proxies like the Houthis in Yemen, which already boast anti-ship cruise and anti-ship ballistic missiles,’ Taleblu said.
The increased attacks, along with what many have said is a lack of proportionate response by the United States, have caused increased criticism from top Republicans in Congress.
‘Since Joe Biden took office, Iran has attacked American positions in the Middle East over 150 times, with over 70 of those attacks in the last month,’ Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas told Fox News Digital on Monday. ‘Iran and its proxies know they can get away with this because the Biden administration rarely hits back. And when it does respond, the strikes only target empty warehouses or inconsequential proxy forces in Iraq or Syria.’
‘President Biden seems to be going out of his way to avoid targeting Iranians or the resources Iran holds dear. This weakness only invites more aggression from Iran and will continue unless the administration sends a clear message these attacks are unacceptable.’
Fox News Digital reached out to the White House and National Security Council for comment but did not receive a response.
‘You’ve seen some saying there should perhaps be a more robust response to these ongoing attacks, whether it’s from Iranian-backed militias in Syria or Iraq, whether it’s the Houthis,’ a reporter asked National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby at a Monday press briefing. ‘Is there any thought of changing up how that’s done?’
‘I don’t think we’re going to get into [the] business to telegraphing our punches,’ Kirby replied. ‘We’ve responded forcefully against the threats to our forces in Iraq and Syria and now our forces in the Gulf region, the Gulf of Oman, Gulf of Aden. We’ll continue to do that as appropriate.’
Taleblu told Fox News Digital that ‘while some may be tempted to write off any Iranian military changes as bluster,’ the ‘administration cannot afford to ignore the overall trajectory of Iran’s military programs.’
‘Greater capability will generate greater risk tolerance and testing of red lines by Tehran. That is something no U.S. president [can] afford to ignore.’
Fox News Digital’s Peter Aitken contributed to this report.