The Case for a US No-Fly Zone over Iran

The United States should consider establishing a no-fly zone over Iran subsequent to a US military strategic degradation of the Iranian nuclear weapons program. A no-fly zone over the entire Iran will signal to the peoples of Iran, including in the periphery that regional rebellions against the regime will have the support of the United States just as the US supported the Iraqi Kurds in 1991 and the Libyans in 2011, in both cases from the air. The sight of official US aircraft in the skies over Iran will have a tremendous psychological impact and may in and of itself trigger largescale rebellions in the ethnically diverse country against the Jihadist-Islamist regime in Tehran. In the case of Iranian Kurdistan is a no-fly zone almost certain to virtually instantly trigger a comprehensive rebellion. Other regions such as Arab Khuzestan and Iranian Balochistan are also rather ripe for near instant rebellion. It is no exaggeration to say that all peoples of Iran are ready to rise against the regime if they feel that they have US backing as the regime is extremely impopular in heavily secularized Iran.

A no-fly zone will allow for continual US aerial attacks against the Iranian nuclear weapons program, not just once but as a continual maintenance operation, as a continuing operation of mowing the grass so to speak in thus continually denying Iran nuclear threshold status. It is true that Iran is a vast country but this is certainly a mission that the US Central Command (CENTCOM) is fully up to and capable of carrying out from its air bases and aircraft carriers in the region. 

The arming of existing and new regional rebel groups by US allies of the Israeli-Muslim alliance of predominantly Muslim states will strategically destabilize the control the Iranian regime exercises over their country and providing rebels with US air support will offer a game changer for the future of the country. All this without a single US boot on the ground.

As the Iranian regime has strategically decided against returning to the JCPOA does the US need fresh new policies for dealing with the Iranian threat without ever risking having to commit troops on the ground.

While Russia and China may be rivals of the US, neither poses a genuine military threat to the United States mainland as does Iran. An Iran with nuclear weapons would be able to carry out mass terror attacks against the US mainland, including with chemical, biological and radiological weapons of mass destruction with full nuclear impunity. When the regime and its acolytes chant “death to America” in their regime-controlled Friday mosques, they mean every word of it.

There may not be that much time left until the time is up considering the accelerating Iranian nuclear weapons program and President Biden will have little choice but to order a strategic degradation from the air of Iranian nuclear sites. However, this also presents an opportunity to impose a US no-fly zone over Iran which will allow for both continually attacking Iranian nuclear targets and supporting large-scale rebellions from the air throughout ethnically, linguistically and religiously diverse Iran.

Published by Daniella Bartfeld

Daniella Bartfeld is the founding director of the Aliyah Organization

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