The only way to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power without a war is to overthrow their regime. As President Trump decided to withdraw the US from the Iranian nuclear deal–not a treaty; our Senate never discussed it, much less voted on it–Israeli prime minister Netanyahu advanced that goal. He recently revealed that Israel seized Iran’s archive of its military nuclear program in Tehran and brought it to Israel, and the same day a video was posted of IDF soldiers singing Soltane Ghalbha, a traditional Persian love song – in Persian.
Taken together, the two events demonstrate the purpose of Netanyahu’s presentation. Netanyahu’s detractors said that he didn’t tell us anything we haven’t known for years.
Okay; consider this: Mossad agents seized a half ton of documents and computer discs from a warehouse in Tehran brought proof that Iran has been lying about its nuclear ambitions since 1999. The information was never more than surmised by nuclear experts.
As for the nuclear deal, the archive itself is a material breach of the nuclear deal–which bars Iran from conducting “activities which could contribute to the design and development of a nuclear explosive device.”
By the way, our nation was a full partner in Israel’s decision to make the presentation. Netanyahu briefed our President about the operation and its initial findings during his White House visit on March 5th. Then, the Mossad gave the CIA a copy of the entire archive, this as the President publicly announced our withdrawal from the Iranian deal.
As for the Europeans–since Trump abandoned the nuclear deal, Congress will reinstate sanctions suspended in January 2016 when the deal–it was not a treaty– went into effect. And then the Europeans can decide. Trade with the US or trade with Iran.
Wonder why they had the soldiers singing a love song in Persian? Netanyahu had two target audiences: The Iranian regime and the Iranian people. The power of his presentation rested on two key observations. First, the Iranian regime believes its antisemitic rhetoric.
At its base, Jew-hatred is a neurotic condition. Antisemites fear Jews. They perceive them as all powerful. This neurotic worldview makes rational analysis impossible. Everything is a Jewish plot. Through circular reasoning, antisemites see Jewish fingers in everything bad that happens to them. Netanyahu pushed all of Iran’s leaders’ neurotic antisemitic buttons.
Netanyahu opened by revealing the existence of Iran’s secret archive of its military nuclear program—which few Iranian citizens knew about. So, Netanyahu told the Iranians that just as they fear, the Jews know everything about them. It doesn’t matter how closely guarded a secret is. The Jews know it.
So, why did the Israelis bother to remove the actual notebooks? Why not just scan them? Then, the Iranians wouldn’t know what happened. This misses a key purpose of the operation. Israel wanted the Iranians to know its agents seized the files.
For years, Israel’s enemies have recognized its technological prowess. Ironically, even as it raised the fears of its enemies, Israel’s technological superiority also fed their contempt. Israel’s enemies insisted that Israel resorts to cyber warfare and other indirect assaults because it is too afraid to have its soldiers face the enemy on a physical battlefield.
When Netanyahu pulled back the curtains, he exposed not only the regime’s lying, but its weakness. There can be no greater humiliation.
So, how did the Iranian people respond? Iran’s anti-regime protests in December and January were widely covered. But the protests didn’t end then; they’re ongoing – and spreading. The anti-regime protests span from one end of Iran to the other and include people and sectors from all walks of life. Barred from open currency trading, the Iranian rial has sunk like a stone. Iranian traders cannot carry out commerce. Their plight will only deteriorate and their anger at the regime will increase as the US reinstitutes its nuclear sanctions.
And this brings us to Israel’s strategic goal– to empower the Iranian people to overthrow their regime.
The first step is to make the regime lose confidence in itself. The day before Netanyahu made his presentation, massive air strikes attributed to Israel destroyed bases in Hama and Aleppo, Syria, that housed major Iranian assets. One base was a recruitment and training center for Iranian-organized Shiite militias. The other housed 200 precision-guided Iranian missiles. These two attacks, presented a new reality to the Iranians.
Since the 1979 Iranian Revolution, the US consistently shielded Iran from Israel. Under Obama the US shielded Iran from Israel on multiple fronts. The Iranians now realize that Israel has a green light from the US to defeat its forces in Syria. And they are terrified.
So, will this increase the threat of war? No, it has likely done the opposite. Hemmed in by an empowered Israel, and an angry Iranian public that just watched its humiliation on Israeli television, it is hard to see Iran starting on a war it is now convinced it will lose.
Again, the only way to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power without a war is to overthrow the regime. Netanyahu’s presentation advanced that goal profoundly. Declarations of friendship to the Iranian people, like the IDF’s Persian love song, further empower the Iranian people to bring down the regime that oppresses them and endangers the entire world. So the winners are: the Iranian people, Israel, the US, and the world.