Is Khamenei Becoming Mildly Senile or is he Just Dangerous?

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is the person in charge of the Islamic Republic of Iran who makes all the major strategic decisions. There is no doubt that he is the one who made the decision to ditch the JCPOA and race towards the bomb knowing full well that Israel will destroy Iran’s nuclear weapons program. He is the one who made the strategic determination that Hamas, Hezbollah and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) will enleash their entire projectile arsenals in the upcoming war against Israel and that Hezbollah will use chemical weapons against Israel. The IDF (Israel Defense Forces) is currently training for Hezbollah chemical weapons attacks along the border with Lebanon. The Israeli military claims that Hezbollah will only fire 2 000 projectiles a day (how can they know?) and do not tell the public the horrible truth that Hezbollah will target Tel Aviv with chemical weapons. Of course this is so as not to cause panic in Israel and potentially emigration from the country. 

Iran tells the truth however, the so-called “Axis of Resistance” will endeavor to cause maximum damage to urban Israel generally and to the city of Tel Aviv in particular and this of course involves unleashing the entire projectile arsenal in as short a time frame as possible. Israel cannot afford to tell the people the truth at this point in time although Iran is already doing so. Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system will be overwhelmed and will become somewhat ineffective due to the vast amount of projectiles being shot at Israel from both Lebanon and Gaza. Iran will be able to cause Israel very serious damage – both human and material – but Israel certainly cannot permit this to happen once more by effectively allowing a second projectile buildup. This second projectile buildup will be aimed at actually destroying Israel and in particular the city of Tel Aviv, Israel’s economic capital. 

Is the IDF still stuck in the conceptzia (failed military conception) of tactical fantasies of “deterring” and “containing” the Jihadists or will the IDF move to conclusively defeat the terrorists by means of an eliminationist anti-terror doctrine? The Jihadists are obviously not “deterred” or “contained” from launching the next war after Israel destroys the Iranian nuclear weapons program in late 2022 or early 2023 so there is neither containment nor deterrence in strategic terms. Will there be a joint IDF-SDF strategic operation to destroy the so-called “Axis of Resistance” in the Levant, delineate new borders of peace, establish an Aramean Christian state, annex Median Jewish (Alawite and Druze) regions of Syria and Lebanon and let an AANES-led Syria annex the remainder of Lebanon? 

Will the US establish a no-fly zone over Iran that will ignite armed rebellions with US air support in the ethnic periphery that will lead to the establishment of KRG-style autonomous regional governments so that the Khomeinist regime will lose control over half of Iran’s population? Do the US and Israel have the guts to dissolve the Khomeinist empire? A no-fly zone of course will allow the US to continually bomb the Iranian nuclear weapons program so as to ensure that it never recovers after it has been destroyed by Israel. 

Yet one must wonder about the decisions of Ali Khamenei who is risking everything and for what? Is he becoming mildly senile or is he just generally dangerous? For decades Iran has pursued a highly prudent expansionist foreign and security policy that minimized the risks for the empire and now suddenly Khamenei is pursuing a high-stakes policy no doubt in the conviction that the Israelis and the Americans do not have the guts to respond. He apparently thinks that an Iranian chemical weapons attack against Tel Aviv by Hezbollah will not cause Israel to nuke Qom. He is wrong of course. This is precisely the kind of scenario which motivated Israel to develop nuclear weapons in the first place. 

One wonders however what Iran has in store for the US, does Iran plan chemical weapons attacks against New York City and Washington D.C.? There is no doubt that Iran perceives the current US administration as “weak” in Middle Eastern terms and that certainly invites Iranian WMD attacks. Considering that Iran plans to use chemical weapons against Israel are the Iranians no doubt calculating that President Biden would not respond with nuclear weapons were Iran to attack New York city and Washington D.C. with chemical weapons. This may be the price of being considered “weak” by the major bully in the Middle East. Israel and the US must seriously ponder how they can establish nuclear deterrence vis-a-vis Iran and hence avoid chemical weapons attacks against Israeli and American urban targets.

Of course there may be no emerging mild senility at play at all but rather sinister cynicism but one must nevertheless ask why Iran is suddenly pursuing reckless policies without any apparent gain on the horizon?

Published by Daniella Bartfeld

Daniella Bartfeld is the founding director of the Aliyah Organization.

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