Georgetown professor: US airstrikes risk 'old pattern' on Iran brinksmanship

Georgetown University professor Trita Parsi told Hill.TV on Monday that last week's U.S. airstrike in Syria targeting an Iranian proxy increases the risk of entering an “old pattern” on Washington-Tehran relations.

“I’m quite disappointed to see that the Democratic leadership that was very quick to condemn [former President] Trump, rightly, when he did these types of strikes without any congressional authorization, has been rather quieter on this one,” said Parsi, executive vice president of the anti-interventionist Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft.

“What I’m worried about is that the Biden administration is falling into an old pattern of tit-for-tat and actually using military strikes to signal intent, et cetera, instead of actually moving us into proper and constructive and productive negotiations,” he added, noting that Iran has rejected European diplomatic overtures.

While Parsi said Tehran’s rejection of talks surrounding the 2015 nuclear deal was also a “very bad decision,” he added it was unsurprising because the Biden administration “has continued Trump’s maximum pressure campaign. It has not lifted any of those sanctions.”

He added that many of Biden’s own advisers have said the strategy “is extremely unlikely to succeed.”

The lack of formal congressional authorization for the airstrikes, Parsi added, raises the question of “whether we are once again going to treat the Middle East as if we can do whatever we want without any restrictions of law.”