Tehran’s Confidence in Terrorist Deterrence

Iran has expressed the assessment that Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett’s new policy of avoiding publicly threatening Iran and instead focusing on building Israel’s defensive and offensive capabilities vis-a-vis Iran and its proxies is evidence that Iran has succeeded in deterring Israel. The Iranian representative claimed that Iran has an effective deterrence capacity against “empty Israeli threats”. It is unclear why there is a need for a deterrence against “empty threats”, but the Iranian representative obviously meant to suggest that Iran’s rocket/missile and WMD deterrence is effective to the point of no one having any offensive military intentions vis-a-vis Iran. What is clear is that Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is absolutely right about the futility of making public threats against Iran since these threats, despite having been repeated innumerable times, have not made a strategic impression on Tehran.

Iran apparently believes that it is safe and that Israel and America will allow it to develop nuclear weapons just like the world did nothing to prevent North Korea from developing nuclear weapons. This shows how delusional the Iranian leadership is. The reality is that Iran’s rocket/missile deterrence does not work. Israel is well aware that the rocket/missile threat will only grow worse unless it is dismantled. The Iranian WMD terrorist deterrence is collapsing as the emerging international Iran coalition grows, to be activated when the diplomatic track completely collapses, something which is inevitable.

Why does Iran have this peculiar perception? Tehran believes that Israel is just one of many tentacles on the American-Jewish “octopus” and that Israel therefore cannot act strategically against Iran without prior American authorization. Iran believes that were Israel on its own to destroy the Iranian nuclear weapons program would this be evidence of the existence of prior American authorization and so Iran would not only retaliate against Israel but against the perceived American–Jewish “octopus” generally worldwide, meaning that Iran would attack major cities in many countries with weapons of mass destruction.

Iran does not really think in terms of the nation state system. Rather Iran believes in the existence of a global Jewish conspiracy in the form of the hard power and the soft power of the United States. To Iran are there governments that are subservient to the American-Jewish “octopus” and nations that resist its power. All nations that ostensibly are subservient to the alleged American-Jewish “octopus” are enemies and all those outside the “domination” of the “octopus” are allies. While Tehran like all Islamist entities believe that the “conspiracy” is geared towards “destroying Islam” is the belief in a worldwide Jewish conspiracy essentially a European worldview formed from the infamous Russian czarist intelligence forgery “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion”.

No change in the Iranian “no-threat” perception should be expected for as long as there is a negotiation track between the United States and Iran. When the negotiation track ultimately collapses as it inevitably will may the Iranian perception of the threat from the outside world potentially change. There will be no opportunities for building deterrence against Iran for as long as there is an American appeasement policy in place vis-a-vis Iran and negotiations remain an option.

Published by Daniella Bartfeld

Daniella Bartfeld is the founding director of the Aliyah Organization.

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