Zohar Palti, the head of the Political-Military Bureau of the Israeli Ministry of Defense and former head of the Mossad Research Department recently pointed out that Iran is no longer afraid and that there is no deterrent against Iran advancing its nuclear weapons program.
What then are the implications of Iranian fears? Is it possible to deter Iran from ordering chemical weapons attacks against major cities around the world? Tehran feared the Trump administration yet certainly does not fear the Biden administration which it considers “weak”. Iran generally fears Republican administrations but not Democratic administrations.
The United States currently pursues a dual track policy with the doves promoting negotiations with Iran while the hawks are preparing Plan B with Israel and building an international coalition to impose a no-fly zone over Iran that will provide air support to armed rebellions throughout the country. However, the dual track Iran policy inadvertently sabotages America’s attempts to rebuild its deterrence posture against Iran since continued American attempts at appeasing Iran into a nuclear agreement that Iran does not believe is conducive to its economic and nuclear interests severely undermine American military credibility and thus also the US deterrence posture.
However, America faces a different dilemma if it succeeds in rebuilding its deterrent posture. It is highly unlikely that there will be any further negotiations beyond the collapse of the JCPOA since Iran has no interest in such an agreement and Beijing’s and Moscow’s perceived interests lie in preserving immunity from being attacked with Iranian weapons of mass destruction after America and Israel destroy the Iranian nuclear weapons program. This immunity is received in return for protecting Iran from the reimposition of economic sanctions at the United Nations Security Council.
In order to build a credible invasion threat, to be activated should Iran attack member states of the coalition with weapons of mass destruction, will America need to amass hundreds of thousands of troops in the region in order to be ready to invade Iran if given the order. However, the problem with that is that Iran will most likely think that America intends to invade Iran no matter what. Iran neither understands nor appreciates the subtlety of American policy. Either is America intent on disengaging from Islamdom and handing over great power responsibilities in Islamdom to Israel or else is America intent on occupying Iran no matter what. There is no middle ground in Iran’s perception of America, either the doves are fully in charge or the hawks are fully in charge.
As long as America pursues negotiations with Iran, will Tehran believe that it has nothing to fear from a weak America. However, the moment the dovish track collapses – as it inevitably will due to Iranian rejectionism – will of course Plan B take center stage and America will gear up for military action against Iran. At that point will Iran believe that the hawks have won the power struggle in the Biden administration and that an invasion therefore is inevitable. Of course it does not occur to Tehran that the Iranian regime itself is causing the collapse of the dovish track and therefore give President Joe Biden no choice but to go for Plan B and the military options which may or may not entail an invasion depending on Iranian behaviors.
The challenge for the Biden administration is therefore to build a more subtle deterrence, something which is currently the policy of the soft-spoken Biden administration, yet these efforts have so far completely failed. However, it cannot be ignored that those efforts are totally undermined by the continued appeasement policy which has no hope of succeeding. It may be that all efforts at building subtle deterrence are bound to fail due to the Iranian perception of the US and that apocalyptic WMD mass global terrorism therefore is unavoidable. The problem is related to the common idea among non-Americans that Americans lack subtlety. The challenge is therefore to communicate American subtlety in a convincing and credible manner that will restore American deterrence. However, this can hardly be attained as long the current appeasement policy is in place as Americans are laughing stock to the Iranians since Tehran has no interest in concluding a nuclear agreement with Washington.
Being a conspiratorial Anti-Semite means living in fear of a dangerous and manipulative, ostensible worldwide “Jewish conspiracy” which for Islamists is intent on destroying Islam. Islamist conspiratorial Anti-Semites constantly misread the US government since they believe the American superpower to be a Jewish global “octopus”. Their judgment is constantly clouded by their conspiratorial misreadings of US foreign policy and American intentions. To Tehran are the Americans either treacherous and cowardly (i.e. dovish) or evil and cunning (i.e. hawkish), there is no middle ground.
Much is obviously at stake. The challenge is to protect American national security and prevent WMD mass terrorist attacks against major American cities and without successful credible subtlety is that extremely unlikely to be attained. Of course, Iran does not care much about the safety of civilians and Tehran projectively assumes that the alleged American-Jewish “octopus” has the very same mindset, meaning that America like Iran is only interested in global power and control and does not care much about the safety of civilians. The US government must internalize that the appeasement track will not succeed in protecting Americans and that building subtly credible deterrence is of utmost urgency indeed in order to protect homeland security of America and of its allies around the world.