Islamic extremism doesn’t always need bombs or planes.
Yemen’s Houthi rebels, with support from the Islamic Republic of Iran, have managed to accomplish what seemed unfathomable – thrown a wrench into global trade and brought one of the world’s largest shipping companies to its knees.
Danish shipping giant Maersk announced on Friday that it will continue diverting vessels away from the Red Sea for the “foreseeable future” due to security threats. The company determined the risk of further attacks by Houthi militants remains intolerably high for its crews and cargo.
In a statement, Maersk said, “The situation is constantly evolving and remains highly volatile, and all available intelligence at hand confirms that the security risk continues to be at a significantly elevated level,” according to CBS News.
However, Maersk sending its ships around the southern tip of Africa, instead of through the Red Sea and the Suez Canal, adds weeks to transit times between Asia and Europe. It also stands to have resounding impacts.
Other shipping firms may now follow Maersk’s lead. The ripples could soon be felt across major industries as supply chains strain under increased delivery times and transport costs. Consumer prices and availability of imported goods also stand to be affected the longer ships are forced to divert.
Maersk’s announcement represents a colossal victory for Tehran. The shipping giant essentially surrendered in the face of the Houthis’ swarm attacks on merchant vessels in the Red Sea.
According to a Politico report from early December, the Biden administration has rejected military proposals to directly strike Houthi rebels in Yemen in response to attacks in the Red Sea, according to officials familiar with internal deliberations.
Biden team wary of retaliating against Houthi attacks at sea
The Biden administration will let Iran backed proxies attack American forces with no repercussions because we’re so close to the 2024 Presidential Election and he’s already getting destroyed in the polls.
Biden is a… pic.twitter.com/ziuX2MN1R3
— Rob (@_ROB_29) December 7, 2023
The administration fears striking the militants could derail Israel-Gaza peace talks and draw Iran deeper into regional conflicts.
But, other military officials say the Houthis pose a serious danger to the thousands of U.S. troops in the region.
“Current actions aren’t resetting deterrence,” one official said, Politico reported.
For now, the administration says it will look at sanctions and unspecified multilateral options beyond direct U.S. military action.
With an administration unwilling or unable to take a stand, Tehran has served notice that it can no longer be ignored or contained.
A new reality has set in for the flashpoint Middle East – one in which Iran sets rules for engagement.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.