of Force: The Only Way to Stop Iran
hopes that Iran will moderate and “engage” with the international community
following the faulty 2015 nuclear agreement (JCPOA) have been gradually replaced
with apprehension. More voices in the international community are joining Israel
in expressing growing concern about Iran’s policies.
Iran seems to be abide by the JCPOA, it resists expanding the scope of
inspections, continues its nuclear research and development (for example
upgrading centrifuges) and continues to make progress on its long-range missile
program. Recently it conducted a test of a missile designed to carry nuclear
Iran’s involvement in the region attests to its hegemonic plans, defying the
notion, propagated by its propagandists, that it is a status quo power acting
defensively. Rather, Iran is following its Persian imperial instincts that are
reinforced by Muslim jihadist impulses. It already controls four Arab capitals:
Baghdad, Beirut, Damascus and Sanaa; its Shi’ite militias and proxies are
fighting in Iraq, Syria and Yemen and engaging in ethnic cleansing; and it is on
the verge of solidifying the Shi’ite corridor from the Persian Gulf to the
Mediterranean. Israel tries to capitalize on the new widespread global
apprehension about Iran and a new American president who is not committed to the
JCPOA to bring about the cancellation of the 2015 nuclear accord or its
renegotiation, and the reinstating of the sanctions regime. Yet, these goals are
difficult to attain and not useful in preventing a nuclear Iran.
international community, including the US, has little appetite to confront Iran.
The belligerent tone of President Donald Trump might be pleasant to Israeli
ears, but we should not forget that he has not yet dismantled the North Korean
nuclear arsenal. Understanding very well the Western reluctance to take military
action, Iran is emulating the North Korean scenario.
states, Germany for example, were eager to renew business relations with Iran
after the removal of the sanctions regime and to turn a blind eye to Iranian
purchases of dual-use equipment.
world seems to prefer to wait until the agreement expires in 10 years or so
without worrying about what will happen after. Iran signed the deal to gain
legitimacy for its nuclear program without giving up the plan to go nuclear in
the near future. Iran, with its thousands of years of history, is patient,
seeing the agreement as only a short delay on the road to achieving its
cannot rely on the international community to stop Iran’s nuclearization.
cancellation of the nuclear agreement will only energize the Iranian nuclear
program. Even if attempts to convince Iran to renegotiate the deal are
successful, the Iranian talent for bargaining will prolong the negotiations for
years, gaining it additional time to enhance its nuclear program.
Similarly, putting in place a tough economic sanctions regime requires years of diplomatic struggle. Neither Russia nor China have a great interest in helping the US neutralize the trouble potential of an anti-American Iran.
the effectiveness of economic sanctions is limited. Past sanctions were useful
in bringing Iran back to the negotiating table, but not in changing its policy.
claim that a tougher deal could have been achieved in 2015 and therefore
renegotiations could elicit a better one for the West is not credible. The JCPOA,
with its loopholes, was the only agreement the Iranians were ready to sign when
it became clear that the US under president Barack Obama would anyway be
unwilling to use the military option.Despite the anti-Iranian rhetoric, the US
under President Donald Trump seems to lack the strategic acumen needed to stop
Iran from attaining regional hegemony. As a matter of fact, its Middle Eastern
policies suit Iran.
continued the obsession with Islamic State (an anti-Iranian force) and is going
along with the Russian and Iranian plans in Syria. The US prefers the integrity
of Iraq, an Iranian satellite, rather than supporting a Kurdish state that Iran
opposes. The US did not side clearly with Saudi Arabia in isolating a Qatar that
courts Iran. A nuclear Iran will be even more difficult to restrain.
in the world can convince Iran to give up the nuclear dream. Only the use of
force can stop Iran from fulfilling its ambitions. Israel is on its own in this.
Nobody will deal with an Iran that is going nuclear. Therefore, Israel must
prepare its military for a strike against the main components of Iran’s
nuclear infrastructure. This will not be easily achieved, but with determination
and creativity it is feasible.
successful attack on Iran’s nuclear infrastructure would change the regional
power equation and reverse Iranian advances. Most states would be happy for
Israel to do the dirty work, and judging from past Israeli strikes on the Iraqi
and Syrian reactors, would hardly create any difficulties for Israel on this
is true that Iran has ways to retaliate and exact costs from Israel.
these would be easier to bear than the cost of allowing Iran to have nuclear