Iran and Hamas have focused the world’s attention in one place. But while all eyes are on Israel, we should ask what other objectives Iran may have in mind.

Today, October 18, is “Transition Day,” when some of the United Nations’ prohibitions on Iran’s development and transfer of missiles and weaponry, like sophisticated suicide drones, will sunset. The Foundation for Defense of Democracies presented two expert discussions on Iran’s intentions and the proxy roles of Hamas and Hezbollah. As Rep. Brad Schneider, co-founder of the Abraham Accords Caucus, said, “10/7 changed all of the assumptions and conclusions in Israel in one day.”

What follows this disruption of assumptions is an unsettling question: What are we missing? The panelists, including Richard Goldberg, former director for countering Iranian weapons of mass destruction, and Eyal Hulata, former Israel national security advisor, posed some historically informed theories and suggested vital roles for the United States. 

The panelists also discussed the suspect roles of Qatar and Turkey in negotiations. Presenters looked at the vacuum created by a weak America and wondered when the $10 billion held in Oman, emanating from Iraq, may enter the negotiations. There are several levels to this conundrum and parts moving on all of them. It will require resolve and incisive judgment to confront the proxies on the field, contextualize the distractions, and contain the real power players.

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