August 16, 2023

Biden's Stance Against Iran Naval Aggression Heralds New Era in the Gulf

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by Farhad Rezaei, Senior Research Fellow

President Joe Biden’s decision to dispatch additional Marines and warships to the Persian Gulf is a strategic move to counter the Iranian regime’s destabilizing activities.

In a strategic decision reminiscent of former president Ronald Reagan’s reflagging operation, the Biden administration is sending additional Marines and warships to the Persian Gulf, taking direct aim at Iran’s aggressive tactics against commercial tankers.

With oil tankers under US Navy protection, Washington’s message to the Iranian regime couldn’t be clearer: the era of unrestrained maritime aggression is over, and the US is ready to counter the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ destabilizing and provocative activities. The regime may attempt to coerce the US government into changing course through various limited strategies, but President Joe Biden should stand firm and respond decisively.

Washington’s reinforcement plan involves dispatching 3,000 Marines and sailors on both the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan and the USS Carter Hall, a landing ship. Such a plan would probably entail reflagging the tankers in the Persian Gulf, meaning that oil tankers would fly the US flag, using the US Navy’s protective service.