Unraveling the Iranian Influence: An In-depth Analysis of the Mideast Initiative

The Jan. 27 drone attack by Iraqi Shia groups in Jordan that killed three Americans, and the overnight strike by the Iranian-backed Houthis on a US-linked ship, are examples of the relentless attacks by Iran’s proxies in the region. The threat posed by Iran is not new, with Iranian-backed militias having carried out around 90 attacks on US forces since January 2021 and dozens more in previous years. The challenge now is how to reverse this trend and seize the initiative from Iran. Iran can carry out attacks over a wide arc of several thousand miles from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea, giving them the advantage of choosing where and when to strike. The US and its allies must find a way to counter this threat and take control of the situation, as Iran continues to dictate the tempo in the region.