Empty Threats Undermine America’s Deterrence Posture

The Biden administration’s practice of making more or less veiled threats against Iran, threats which the administration is manifestly not ready to follow through on is not only not credible but is furthermore detrimental since it undermines the US deterrence posture vis-a-vis Iran and enhances the threat of Iranian chemical weapons attacks against major American cities. The JCPOA was an act of appeasement at the expense of, indeed shameful abandonment of the existential interests of America’s loyal Middle Eastern allies.

The US government understands that the Iranian threat of chemical weapons attacks against major American cities is all too real. The nightmare of a second 9/11 or worse no doubt figures dominantly in the worst-case scenarios of the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security. The JCPOA was precisely intended to defer such a threat against the American mainland. The tyrannical Khomeinist regime agreed to the JCPOA only because the UN sanctions were unbearable, in contrast however, Tehran can live with US sanctions against Iran although these restrain Tehran’s military buildup.

The US government needs to internalize that the JCPOA has failed and that the US is dangerously undermining its own deterrence posture vis-a-vis Iran by making empty threats which no one believes in. The continued US policy of appeasement dangerously jeopardizes American national security by making the US look like a paper tiger.

America urgently needs a new strategy on Iran. America needs to internalize that it has failed to deter Iran and that the current appeasement policy of buying time with sanctions relief, i.e. deferring the chemical weapons threat against the American homeland – does not work. Appeasement is a poor replacement for real deterrence. 

US policy makers on Iran have failed to acknowledge that the US has been very effectively deterred by the Iranian threat of chemical weapons mass terrorism. By relying on advisors such as Trita Parsi and Rob Malley, both infamous appeasers of Islamism, rather than on hard-headed Iran experts who recognize that most forms of totalitarianism are severely Anti-American and that Islamism, the oldest form of totalitarianism, seeks to harm the United States did America undermine its own deterrence posture vis-a-vis Iran. 

Iran’s extreme hostility against America is almost entirely due to the belief of all Islamist movements in the notion of America being controlled by a worldwide Jewish conspiracy that in this view rules the world. In essence do Islamists believe that “the Jews” rule the world through America and hence the irrational aversion, indeed visceral hatred for America. American policy maker only need to read Sayyid Qutb’s “Our Struggle Against the Jews” (the Islamist equivalent of Hitler’s “Mein Kampf”) in order to understand this. While Qutb’s among Islamists famous pamphlet is central for how Sunni Islamist leaders perceive Israel, America and “the Jews”, is it also true that Shia Islamist attitudes in this regard are indistinguishable from those of Sunni Islamists. This is why newly “elected” Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi disseminated the infamous forgery of the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” before becoming president of Iran. 

Due to the Iranian perception that the US is controlled by Jews is Iran implacably hostile towards America and the alleged “Jewish control” means that US superpower status is perceived as an expression of “Jewish imperialism”. No change in US foreign policy can change that perception which is a core Islamist political belief. All Islamist movements are convinced that there is a worldwide Jewish conspiracy to destroy Islam. Islamists do not believe that this alleged “conspiracy” is controlled by Israel but rather by American Jews and hence the Iranian designation of the US as the “Great Satan” while Israel is merely considered the “Small Satan”. The fact that the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Homeland of Security and Biden’s son-in-law are all Jewish only reinforces this very Anti-Semitic perception. 

However, even if there were no Jews in the US government would the Khomeinist regime and all other Islamist leaders still believe that the Jews control the United States and that the US is at the center of a worldwide Jewish conspiracy to destroy Islam since this myth is integral to the very Weltanshauung of all Islamist movements. The Iranian threat in Ali Khamenei’s famous words to “annihilate Israel” is a reflection of this deeply held belief according to which Israel is a central tool for the American Jewish conspiracy to destroy Islam. Even if the US were to distance itself from Israel in order to appease the Islamists as did the Obama administration would the Khomeinist regime and other Islamist leaders only view this as “Jewish deception”. Islamists believe that they must annihilate the Jews in order to “liberate” Islamdom and establish a sharia-based superpower encompassing all of Islamdom. This is why Iran is so keen on annihilating Israeli Jews, this also why Islamist hostility against America cannot be appeased and hence the threat of a second 9/11 (or worse) with Iranian chemical weapons used against major cities of the American mainland. 

The United States government needs to urgently reassess current US policy on Iran which is dangerously undermining American national security. The Iranian nuclear weapons program must be destroyed and a no-fly zone permanently imposed on Iran so as prevent the Iranian nuclear weapons program from ever being rebuilt and encourage the peoples of Iran’s ethnic periphery to stage armed revolts against the Iranian regime with US air support as this would shrink Iran to Persia, deprive Iran of most of its oil resources and severely weaken the Iranian regime. With Tehran’s loss of control over Iranian Balochistan would a naval economic blockade at the Strait of Hormuz subsequently serve to choke the regime.

Israel has internalized that it will have to absorb mass terrorist projectile barrages against Israeli cities with some terrorist projectiles being fitted with chemical warheads. America needs to internalize that its combined attempts at appeasement of and deterrence against Iran have utterly failed and that a second 9/11 or worse may be unavoidable. The US rather needs to go on the offensive against the Iranian threat. Once Iran is reduced to Persia would Tehran no doubt feel vulnerable to the threat of a potential US-led allied invasion of Persia. The mere potential (there was no actual stated threat by the US) of an allied invasion of Iran as led by the US crucially compelled Iran to freeze its nuclear weapons program after the US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. 

America is in danger and in order to prevent even worse threats against the American homeland must America go on the offensive against the Iranian menace.

Published by Daniella Bartfeld

Daniella Bartfeld is the founding director of the Aliyah Organization.

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