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VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: Does Iran realize its own growing danger?

Iran understandably believes it is riding quite high.

It is flush with cash. It hints it almost has the bomb — and might use it soon.

The Iranians are bragging about their new tyrannical allies such as Russia and China.

Iran boasts of now being the self-proclaimed leader of jihad on behalf of all Muslims. It gloats that it is feeding the Russian war machine by exporting its own drones.

Tehran proudly supplied and funded Hamas’ savage murdering of Jewish children in Israel.

It eggs on its other pawn Hezbollah to launch a reputed 100,000-Iranian-supplied missiles into Israel.

It constantly provokes the U.S. — mostly by veiled threats to unleash anti-American terrorists in the Middle East and perhaps inside America itself.

But above all, Iran is giddy over the appeasing Biden administration.

Biden resurrected the unhinged Obama administration plan of empowering a “Shiite crescent” — of Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah, including Hamas.

This American idea of a radical bloc would supposedly birth “creative tension” and thus on autopilot balance the dominance of our friends in Israel and the Gulf regimes with our new Iranian clients. Yet the logical result of such madness was the massacre we saw in Israel.

Biden put pro-Iranian envoy Robert Malley — now under FBI investigation — in charge of begging Iran to restart the disastrous Iran deal.

The anemic Biden administration has reportedly replied only four times to some 83 Iranian attacks on Americans.

Biden lifted sanctions allowing Iran to garner tens of billions of dollars in new oil sales — to be routed to all of Israel’s terrorist enemies.

He sought to pay ransom to Iran to get back five American hostages — at a cost of $1.2 billion per captive and a green-light for Tehran to take more.

The Biden administration restored in aggregate $1 billion in aid to the West Bank and Gaza despite the long history of radical Palestinian terrorism.

This mollification of Iran also led its appendages Hamas and Hezbollah to believe that if any of them started a war against Israel, then Iran would guarantee their victory, the U.S. would do nothing — and probably force Israel to do the same nothing.

Yet a delusional Iran still is not fully aware how its loud bragging about and support for its client Hamas’ barbaric killing of Jewish civilians have put it into an unprecedented dangerous predicament.

For the first time in decades, there is no nation that can restrain Israel from destroying Iran’s pawn Hamas — not after it butchered 1,400 Jewish citizens while radical Palestinians in Gaza keep celebrating the slaughter and promising more such savage mass murdering.

Iran’s other proxy Hezbollah still issues blood-curdling threats to launch missiles. But it privately knows if it hits Israel with them, Beirut will resemble something far worse than its rubble of 2006 during the last Middle East war.

The world despises Iran and now finally accepts it cannot be appeased. Arab nations neither want Gazan refugees anywhere near them nor their terrorists whom Gazans one time voted into power.

Even Europe abhors Hamas’ precivilizational butchery of Israeli civilians.

Russia, Iran’s new patron, will be of little help to it — bogged down in Ukraine and hemorrhaging under sanctions and global ostracism. Nor has Moscow forgotten its own long violent history with Islam.

China cares only about the delivery of Middle East oil, calm seas lanes — and injuring the U.S.

Otherwise Beijing has no desire to risk its economy by pushing an Iranian theater war — especially when China has jailed a million Uyghur Muslims in forced labor camps.

If the two huge American carrier groups parked in the Eastern Mediterranean are attacked by either Iranian or Hezbollah missiles, public opinion will force even Biden to retaliate. And the response will not be street fighting block to block in Tehran or Beirut.

Instead, it will be a medieval rain of destruction on either or both from the air.

After the Afghanistan humiliation, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Chinese flagrant spy balloon mission over the American heartland, 8 million illegal aliens waved in across the southern border, and woke hysterias, Americans may have finally woken up that they dangerously — almost fatally — have squandered prior hard-won deterrence and must reboot.

To play its global jihadist role, Iran must always keep upping its terrorist ante and constantly louder threats.

It assumes the Middle East is business as usual — when it is insidiously becoming just the opposite. An appeasing Biden is not driving events but being driven by them, whether he knows it or not.

The Iranians have little clue that they and their vassals are one stupid missile volley, or one reckless intervention away from a devastating Western response that would not necessarily be “proportionate.”

And such a retaliation would be welcomed by Iran’s numerous enemies, privately applauded by its small number of supposed “friends,” and largely shrugged off by its even fewer allies.

Victor Davis Hanson is a distinguished fellow of the Center for American Greatness and a classicist and historian at Stanford’s Hoover Institution. Contact him at authorvdh@gmail.com.

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