Iran Deal Bombshell is a Strategic Game-Changer
By Caroline Glick
May 3, 2018
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s presentation on
Monday is having and will continue to have a huge impact on the Iranian
First, the operation reinforced the regime’s antisemitic
paranoia regarding Israel. By showing photographs of the inside of the
top-secret storage facility, and broadcasting that Israeli agents entered the
facility and physically removed a half ton of documents and computer discs,
Netanyahu told the regime – and its domestic opponents – that Israel is
watching everything the regime does. Israel can get anywhere and do anything.
While this is certainly not always the case, given the
regime’s predisposition to
believe antisemitic conspiracy theories that ascribe superhuman capabilities to
Jewish people, there is every likelihood that this is the message the Iranians
– in and out of the regime – received from Netanyahu’s dramatic speech Monday evening.
Second, as Dr. Harold Rhode, a recently retired adviser on
Islamic Affairs in the Office of the U.S. Secretary of Defense, explains,
Netanyahu’s exposure of Iran’s nuclear archive happened at a key moment in
Iranian domestic politics. Today, the regime’s ability to stir fear in the
hearts of the Iranian people is rapidly diminishing.
Rhode told Breitbart News, “When you ask Iranians where
there are anti-regime protests going on in Iran, they invariably respond that
the list of cities where anti-regime protests are not taking place is much
shorter than the list of cities where they are taking place.”
People from all walks of life are sick and tired of the
regime. That much is clear from, for example, the social media videos spreading
like wildfire of Iranian women willing to risk prison to defy the regime’s
religious edict requiring women and girls to cover themselves in Islamic robes
and head coverings.
For their part, Rhode relates, regime forces are openly
turning on one another — particularly over corruption — for the first time
“The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps have always known
better than to show their dirty laundry in public. But today various factions in
the IRGC are squabbling in the open, mainly over corruption,” Rhode says.
Last week, Iranian blogger and writer Potkin Azarmehr reported on
Twitter that Ayatollah Javadi Amoli, one of the senior ayatollahs being
considered to replace Iran’s
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in the event of his death, recently warned
that the regime is hanging on by a thread.
In Amoli’s words,
“If the people rise up [against the regime] they will throw us into the sea!
Many [leaders] have already fled and some have prepared where they will flee to,
but we have nowhere to escape to.”
In this context, Netanyahu’s revelation that Israeli
agents removed Iran’s darkest secrets from their secret storage facility and
brought them to Israel most assuredly terrified many senior regime officials.
Ehud Yaari, Israel’s Reshet television’s Arab affairs
commentator, reported Tuesday that the unit responsible for securing
the nuclear archive is the IRGC’s intelligence unit. Khamenei personally
founded the unit in 2009. At least as of Monday morning, it was led by
Hassan Tayib, a cleric known for his cruelty and fanaticism.
Yaari related that Tayib can expected to “die of a heart
attack,” as the regime is about to mount a major purge of the IRGC in the wake
of Netanyahu’s speech.
The fact that Netanyahu made his announcement about the
Mossad’s operational triumph in Iran the day after Israel allegedly carried
out airstrikes against two significant targets in Syria made the
announcement’s psychological effect on the regime even greater. Israel reportedly destroyed
200 precision guided surface to surface missiles, as well as a recruitment base
for Shiite militia in Aleppo and Hama Sunday night.
And whereas Iran responded to Israel’s airstrike against
its T-4 airbase outside Palmyra, Syria on April 7 pledging to avenge the attack,
Iran’s response to Sunday night’s assaults, which were reportedly
far more powerful, was muted. Iran denied that
any of its personnel were killed in the blast, even as the generally accurate
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that 26 fighters, most of them
Iranians, were killed in the strikes.
Iran’s feeble response indicates that it is rattled by
Israel’s confidence and force. With the Iranian people engaging in anti-regime
protests across Iran, the regime has no interest in highlighting its continued
humiliation by the Jewish state.
This brings us to the third strategically significant
aspect of Netanyahu’s statement and Israel’s decision to make the Mossad’s
seizure of Iran’s nuclear arsenal public the day after Israel allegedly
conducted air assaults against Iranian targets in Israel.
During the Obama years, the U.S. repeatedly
leaked Israeli military operations in Syria. In so doing the Obama
administration exposed Israel to elevated risk that the Syrian regime and its
Hezbollah and Iranian overlords would retaliate against its covert operations.
The twofold message Obama sent by ordering the repeated
leaks was clear. First, in the event of war – precipitated by U.S. leaks –
between Israel and the Iranian-controlled parties in Syria, the U.S. would not
have Israel’s back. And second, Obama signaled clearly to Iran – as well as
to Israel – that he would not lift a finger to help Israel in the event Iran
The net effect of the Obama administration’s hostile
treatment of Israel and friendly treatment of Iran was to deter Israel from
defending its interests against Iranian encroachment in Syria, Lebanon, Iran and
elsewhere. That, in turn, emboldened Iran to entrench its forces regionally
The tight coordination between Israel and the Trump
administration in relation to Israel’s reported airstrikes in Syria, and
Netanyahu’s revelation of Iran’s seized nuclear archive (as reflected by
statements from both Secretary
of State Mike Pompeo and President
Donald Trump) shows the Trump administration has adopted the opposite
Under Trump, the U.S. is coordinating and cooperating with
Israel in air and other operations against Iran in an unprecedented manner. It
is this coordination with Washington that doubtlessly explains both Israel’s
boldness and Iran’s passivity. Teheran has never faced a united
Israeli-American front before. That, too, terrifies the regime.
This then brings us to the fourth and final strategic
point. Many Obama administration alumni are insisting that Netanyahu’s
remarkable presentation on Monday night, and Trump’s now expected
decision May 12 to exit Obama’s nuclear deal, will increase the
likelihood of all-out war between Israel and Iran that is likely to deteriorate
swiftly into a larger regional war.
While it would be foolhardy to dismiss the possibility of
war, the fact is that the events of the past week or so have made war far less
likely than it was before.
The more powerful Israel’s airstrikes have become, the
more powerful its intelligence services are proven to be. And the stronger and
more open Israel’s cooperation and coordination with Washington becomes, the
less likely Iran will be to respond to the challenge by initiating a war.
The regime knows the restive and angry Iranian public will
not accept a war against a U.S. backed-Israel in Syria and beyond that will cost
billions of dollars Iran simply doesn’t have. War would end in a stunning
defeat for Iran.
Moreover, if Iran responds to the challenge by activating
its terrorist sleeper cells and ordering them to attack Israeli or Jewish
targets abroad, such action would only subject the regime to still sharper
scrutiny from the U.S. — and, presumably, significant swathes of the
international community — and consequently weaken the regime still further.
In short, by seizing and exposing the contents of Iran’s
nuclear arsenal, Israel has further destabilized and weakened the regime. Its
powerful airstrikes against Iranian targets in Syria and its increasingly
apparent operational cooperation with the U.S. have reduced the prospects for
And Israel has started running down the clock not to Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons, but to the overthrow of the regime by the people of Iran.