February 1st, 2024
As the Biden administration prepares its response to the most recent act of Iranian aggression that saw three United States service members killed, former vice president Mike Pence pointed to his administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign and use of force in the face of the Islamic Republic’s attacks.
A memo released by the Pence-founded Advancing American Freedom (AAF) organization calls on President Joe Biden to follow his predecessor’s example and deter Iran.
“Since day one, President Biden has appeased Iran by refusing to assert power in the region, reversing the Trump-Pence administration’s ‘maximum pressure’ strategy,” the memo reads. “Now Iran and its proxies have killed American troops, invaded Israel, and held the Red Sea hostage.”
Pointing to the previous administration’s successes in dealing with Iran — renegotiating the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action to include ballistic missiles, imposing sanctions on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program, targeting Tehran’s central bank and oil profits, and using “overwhelming force” in its strike against former Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps leader Qassem Soleimani — AAF notes that the current president has attempted to restore the nuclear deal, eased off sanctions and unfroze Iranian assets, removed the Houthis from the foreign terrorist organization list almost immediately after taking office, and has called for a “proportional” response to Iran’s attacks.
Pence told National Review that the administration’s reluctance to use military force to deter the Islamic Republic from further aggression across the Middle East has had dire consequences.
“President Biden’s appeasement of Iran has led to the death of three U.S. service members, and it’s past time Iran paid the price for crossing that red line,” Pence said. “The United States must respond with overwhelming force. Foolishly, President Biden is telegraphing America’s strike plans, giving Iran valuable time to clear out and protect its military assets.”
AAF urges the White House to renew the “maximum pressure” sanctions instituted in 2018, revoke the $10 billion waiver granted in November 2023, and request that international banks seize funds in the accounts of Iranian proxy groups, in its memo. On the subject of any retaliation, AAF argues that the Biden administration “must eliminate high-value Iranian targets, such as their nuclear program, the Iranian navy, and oil infrastructure.”
It also calls upon Congress to pass the Maximum Pressure Act, write former president Donald Trump’s campaign into law, and investigate Iran’s covert operations within the Biden administration, as detailed in a November report.
Since the Iranian proxy campaign against the United States and its interests began in earnest in the fall, the Biden administration has only targeted those proxies in its responses, from the U.S.-U.K. joint raid on Houthi sites in Yemen in response to that group’s hijackings and strikes against commercial and military ships in the Red Sea to the recently-announced permission the president gave the Department of Defense to hit targets “inside Iraq and Syria.”
Pence argued that this reported plan is not enough.
“This fight must be taken directly to Iran, not an empty warehouse in the desert,” he told NR. “Iran only understands strength, and the United States must respond.”
Read more here at NationalReview.com.