3,000 US Marines Sent to Persian Gulf as Show of Strength to Iran

After a somewhat quiet two years, the United States is adding to its military presence in the Middle East. where diplomacy has apparently hit a wall.

More than 3,000 U.S. Marines have arrived in area aboard the U.S.S. Bataan and dock landing ship U.S.S. Carter Hall, as part of the effort to prevent Iran from harassing commercial vessels in the region. 

While the U.S. may not be directly involved in any major regional conflict, tensions with Iran are only increasing.

The Islamic Regime continues to launch attacks in a key shipping route in addition to ramping up its nuclear program – escalations that many believe now demand a renewed American presence in the region.

Nathan Sales, former ambassador-at-large and Coordinator for Counter-Terrorism in the Trump administration, believe nations in the region need to see a strong power.

“The best way to avoid war is strength,” Sales noted. “Reagan said it best: ‘peace through strength.'”

The Marine contingent, backed by U.S. fighter jets and warships, is being deployed to the Persian Gulf in a display of military might that’s long overdue, according to Sales. 

“What Iran has seen so far from the administration is one-after-another episodes of turning the other cheek. Thats a great way to live your life as a private citizen and a Christian, that’s not a great way to run foreign policy,” Sales told CBN News.

The latest slap from Tehran involves the regime increasing its pattern of Harassing and seizing ships traveling through the Strait of Hormuz – the waterway that more than 20 percent of the world’s oil must pass through.

With Iran now closer than ever to weapons-grade uranium levels, the Biden administration has finally admitted efforts to revive a nuclear deal are done and that option is no longer on the table.

“I think the important question for us to be asking the White House is what took you so long? It’s not as if iran has been dramatically worsening its behavior lately. This is all par for the course. We’ve been looking the other way for a good two and a half years,” Sales noted. 

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Along with this military show of force, Gabriel Noronha, former State Department special advisor for Iran, says the administration is still offering Iran concessions, giving the regime an impression that it holds the leverage in nuclear negotiations.

“The State Department still trying to negotiate something where they give sanctions relief to Iran in exchange for Iran pausing its enrichment or doing a little bit less there,” Noronha said. 

He told CBN News that while China may be the administration’s top priority, the U.S. response to Iran could make a major difference in how Beijing moves forward.

“If the United States sets a red line over Iranian nuclear activity, that better be something that we’re willing to actually enforce, because the results – if we don’t enforce that red line – could be a completely green light to China to go and invade Taiwan,” Noronha cautioned.

Since the beginning of the year, the region has also seen an increase in joint military exercises between the U.S. and Israel. Noronha and Ambassador Sales believe this sends a message of unity and support to Middle East allies, while hopefully enabling them to step out and take on a larger role themselves.