Editors at National Review Online criticize the president’s approach toward Middle East policy.

Though President Biden did the right thing by deploying American assets to assist Israel’s defensive response, the reality is that things never would have gotten to this point had it not been for his accommodating policies toward Iran and months of chastising Israel. Looking further back, the origins of last night’s Iranian aggression could be traced to his former boss.

In pursuing a disastrous nuclear deal, the Obama administration sought to reorient the Middle East around an improved relationship with Iran and more “daylight” between the U.S. and Israel. In pursuit of the deal, the administration overlooked Iran’s malign activity around the world — its sponsorship of terrorism and its destabilizing attacks through its proxies in the region. The ultimate deal funneled tens of billions of dollars in sanctions relief to Iran and allowed the regime to become a greater conventional threat, all while preserving its nuclear ambitions in the long term.

While President Trump pulled out of the deal and reestablished U.S. deterrence against Iran by ordering the killing of IRGC commander Qasem Soleimani, Biden and his team — many of the same people responsible for Obama’s failed policies — sought to resurrect the deal. Once again, in doing so, they tried to downplay Iran’s bad behavior and funneled tens of billions of dollars in sanctions relief to Iran. …

… Since October 7, whenever Biden has been asked about the possibility of Iran getting involved in the fighting, he has simply said “Don’t,” without offering any explanation of what would happen if it did. What Iran has seen from the U.S., sadly, has been weakness. For months, Iran has had its proxies fire at U.S. military assets in the region and harass shipping lanes. Aside from a few symbolic retaliatory strikes, the Biden response has been muted.