Al-Asad Airbase, in Iraq’s western Anbar province, was the target of Wednesday’s rocket attack. (Photo: AFP)
WASHINGTON DC (Kurdistan 24) – US officials, from President Joe Biden on down, responded to Wednesday’s rocket attack on Al-Asad Airbase in Iraq’s western Anbar Province by saying that they would wait for the results of the Iraqi government’s investigation, before deciding on any action that they might take.
As in the aftermath of the three previous rocket attacks, starting with the Feb. 15 assault on Erbil International Airport, US officials declined to even speculate on which party might have been responsible.
Responding to a journalist’s question about the attack, before a meeting with Congressmen to discuss developing cures for cancer, Biden stated, “We’re identifying who is responsible, and we’ll make judgments from that point.”
At State Department and Pentagon briefings later that day journalists asked sharp questions about the administration’s policy on Iran.
In response, State Department Spokesperson Ned Price came very close to saying what many analysts suspect: the administration’s muted response is due to its desire to restart talks on Iran’s nuclear program and restore the 2015 agreement, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which Donald Trump abrogated in 2018.
“Our overarching objective is to impose verifiable and permanent limits on Iran’s nuclear program,” Price said. “That is what we are seeking here.”
Notably, “permanent limits” suggests the administration is seeking to address at least one significant shortcoming in the JCPOA, which had various sunset clauses. Key provisions simply ended, raising the prospect that Iran could develop a nuclear weapon sometime in this decade.