Will Iran Launch a Surprise Assault?

Iran is well aware that it will be attacked but due to its belief in divine patronage does Tehran not believe that any of the insurrections will succeed after the US-led international coalition imposes a no-fly zone over Iran and provides air support to armed rebellions throughout the country. However, this does not mean that Iran would not launch preemptive attacks against Israel, the US and other nations they associate with the imaginary worldwide “Jewish conspiracy” to destroy Islam. It could be argued that there is no reason for Iran to await the US imposition of a no-fly zone and the United States amassing hundreds of thousands of troops near Iran. Why not go on the offensive before being attacked?

Iran believes that president Joe Biden is a weak person who will disengage from the Middle East in response to Iran attacking the American homeland with chemical weapons. There is unfortunately lingering uncertainty about whether the US intends to disengage from Islamdom and leave its great power responsibilities there in the hands of Israel as was the intention of the Trump administration. Not even Israel is certain what are the strategic intentions of the Biden administration. If the US does not intend to disengage from Islamdom should it in contrast reinforce its presence in the Middle East so as to help rebuild its dilapidated deterrence posture vis-a-vis Iran. One useful way to do that would be to boost the US presence in the AANES (Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria) and in the Gulf states.

Iran is convinced that the Biden administration will not respond with nuclear weapons against Iranian chemical weapons attacks against major American cities. Tehran believes that it can trigger a US disengagement from Islamdom by attacking the American homeland. Iran also believes that it can deter the US from imposing a no-fly zone over Iran by attacking America. Tehran believes that there is no real prospect of a US invasion of Iran and is convinced that the threats to this effect by CENTCOM (US Central Command in the Middle East) head General Frank McKenzie are mere empty rhetoric.

There is no doubt that Iran delivers its chemical weapons by submarines discreetly approaching the coastlines of target countries such as the United States. The chemical weapons are then picked up by agents in leisure boats who deliver the chemical weapons to sleeper cells in major cities. Delivering the chemical weapons by submarine takes time and the chemical weapons are most likely already in place in target cities in America and around the world. The question therefore is why Iran should wait for an attack against its nuclear weapons program and the imposition of a no-fly zone before lashing out against countries of the perceived worldwide “Jewish conspiracy” to destroy Islam? It would certainly make sense from the perspective of Tehran to launch a global surprise attack to reinforce its WMD terrorist deterrence. The message to the US would be that should America dare to attack Iran will Tehran in the second wave of assaults attack America with biological weapons. 

Furthermore, ordering Hezbollah to launch a simultaneous preemptive attack against Israel would take Jerusalem by surprise as Israel would probably not have had time to equip its urban populations with gas masks and materials to isolate homes. A Hezbollah preemptive attack against Israel would hence cause vastly more Israeli civilian deaths since the Israelis are not prepared for a Hezbollah surprise attack with chemical weapons. A surprise Hezbollah full-scale assault on Israel with its entire arsenal of 150 000 rockets and missiles, many of them equipped with chemical warheads, would likely cause tens of thousands of Israeli deaths and hundreds of thousands of wounded from the chemical weapons attacks.

Are Israel, America and other nations on Iran’s target list prepared for an Iranian preemptive terrorist global war? The answer is certainly no. By greenlighting Rob Malley’s plan for continued negotiations with Iran even after the demise of the JCPOA despite Tehran rightly concluding that it is not in the economic and nuclear interest of the Khomeinist regime to conclude a nuclear agreement with the United States – is America sending a message of weakness in effectively saying that America is afraid of war in the Middle East and is desperate to appease Iran. The Iranian conclusion is that they can deter America since the US leadership in their view is psychologically weak and afraid of war in the Middle East. There is of course a disconnect between actual US intentions and Iranian perceptions of US intentions but the US has lost its credibility and destroyed its deterrence through its appeasement policy towards Iran.

Although Iran is largely irrational, it remains strategically sophisticated and it is perfectly capable of ordering preemptive WMD mass terrorist war on a global scale in order to deter Israel and America from destroying Iran’s nuclear weapons program and prevent the imposition of a no-fly zone over Iran.

America needs to urgently rebuild its deterrence posture and return to the former Blinken doctrine of opposition to endless negotiations. Giving Rob Malley free rein is not only further undermining US deterrence but is fatally endangering American national security. 

Furthermore, a surprise assault will undoubtedly see particular Iranian focus on attacking Gulf states with chemical and potentially biological weapons in order to deter Gulf nations from hosting US forces that would be stationed there in preparation for a potential invasion of Iran. The message this sends is that there will be a second wave of WMD terrorist attacks against Gulf cities should those countries host large numbers of US forces preparing for the possibility of invading Iran.

How would a surprise Hezbollah mass assault against Israel, including with chemical weapons, affect the resilience of the Israeli public considering that those attacks would cause tens of thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands of wounded from chemical weapons? Iran assumes that it can deter both Israel and the imaginary Jewish-American octopus from attacking the Iranian nuclear weapons program by taking Israel by surprise before Israel has handed out equipment to civilians to protect against chemical weapons. In the racist imagination of traditional Muslim Anti-Semitism are Jews intrinsically “cowardly” and Iran therefore believes that it can exploit this perceived feature of the ostensible Jewish psyche to deter Israel and the perceived American-Jewish “octopus” from attacking Iranian nuclear installations and imposing a no-fly zone over Iran.

As the dangers are growing, the international community needs to abandon its policy of appeasement towards Iran and they certainly need to do so in order to restore deterrence so as to protect their own national security.

Published by Daniella Bartfeld

Daniella Bartfeld is the founding director of the Aliyah Organization

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