February 01, 2024

U.S. sees signs Iran is worried about escalating proxy attacks amid heightened tensions

Source: CNN

Journalists: Natasha Bertrand, Katie Bo Lillis

Jonathan Lord, the director of the Middle East Security program at the Center for a New American Security, said, however, that the Kataib Hezbollah statement reflects how the anticipation of a US response has appeared to cause Tehran to pull back, “at least momentarily.”

“I think it’s interesting that just the anticipation of a potentially escalated US response has already had a deterrent effect on Iran’s premier proxy force, without the US firing a shot,” Lord said. He noted that the attack in Jordan appeared to have undermined Iran’s approach since October, which has been to escalate only enough to prevent putting the US or Israel “in a corner” and forced to respond forcefully.

“They were victims of their own success, potentially,” Lord said of the attack in Jordan. “While the attack was similar to the 150+ before it, the results were more deadly.”

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Authors

  • Jonathan Lord

    Senior Fellow and Director, Middle East Security Program

    Jonathan Lord is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Middle East Security program at CNAS. Prior to joining CNAS, Lord served as a professional staff member for the House Arme...