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A nuclear Iran threatening vital US interests

Irrespective of Israel’s policies and existence, Iran’s pursuit of mega-capability (nuclear) aims at removing the mega-obstacle (the US power projection), which would enable the Ayatollahs to attain their mega-goal: the domination of the Persian Gulf as a prelude to the domination of the Muslim World and then the entire globe.

According to the fact-driven “Guilty until proven innocent school of thought“– and in contrast to the hope-driven, fact-dismissing “Innocent until proven guilty school of thought” – a nuclear Iran would compound the clear, present and lethal threat posed by a conventional Iran to critical American and Western interests, to the survival of Israel, Saudi Arabia and other pro-US Arab oil-producers and to global sanity. 

Moreover, the Ayatollahs’ track record (e.g., sacrificing 500,000 of its own youth on the altar of clearing minefields during the 1980-88 war against Iraq) suggests that a nuclear, apocalyptic Iran would not be contained, while tolerating Iran as a threshold nuclear power could trigger a nuclear world war.

The track record of a conventional Iran highlights the following:

*Iran annually celebrates November 4 as “Death to America Day,” commemorating the 1979 seizure of the US Embassy, featuring a burning of the American flag.

*Iran intensifies radical Shiite ideology, emphasizing the submission of humanity to the Prophet Muhammad; the submission of the “infidel” to the Sharia’ laws; the duty to conduct a “holy war” (Jihad) on behalf of Islam; the divinely-ordained Islamic title to land (Waqf)); the duty to expand Dar al-Islam (the residence of the “believers”) into the Dar al-Harb (the residence of the “disbelievers,” who are doomed by the sword); and the art of doubletalk and deception-based agreements, aimed at shielding the “believers” from the “disbelievers” (Taqiyyah), to be abrogated once conditions are ripe.

*Taqiyya is employed by Iran’s President, Rouhani, who was Iran’s chief negotiator with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), systematically misleading and violating commitments. In September, 2002, Rouhani stated: “When we sign international treaties, it means that we are not pursuing nuclear weapons, chemical weapons or biological weapons.” He was a planner of the 1994 “AMIA terrorism,” causing the murder of 85 civilians in Buenos Aires.

*Iran is the leading sponsor of global Islamic terrorism, including hundreds of sleeper cells in the US.

*Iran intensifies cooperation with North Korea, including the joint development of a long-range missile, capable of carrying nuclear warheads, which could reach the US.

*Iran collaborates with the anti-US regimes in Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Cuba, is expanding ties with Argentina and seeking enhanced ties with Mexico.

*Iran fuels Shiite subversion and terrorism in the Persian Gulf – especially in Bahrain and the Al­-Hasa oil region of Saudi Arabia – in order to topple “apostate” regimes. Hence, the unprecedented homeland security cooperation between Israel and Arab Gulf States.

*Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, weapons, training and money catapulted the anti-Saudi Shiite Houthi minority to the helm in Yemen, aiming to topple the House of Saud, as was attempted in the 1960s by Egyptian President Nasser. A stronghold in Yemen would provide the Ayatollahs with control of Bab el-Mandeb Strait, the strategic link between the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea and the Mediterranean for oil tankers and other vessels. It would generate subversion and terrorism in the neighboring pro-US Oman, which jointly (with Iran) controls the Strait of Hormuz, the only outlet for oil tankers from the Persian Gulf to the open sea.  

*Iran dominates much of Iraq, threatens the survival of the pro-US regimes of Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, and has expanded anti-US Iraqi terrorism, as it has done in Afghanistan.

*Iran is the key supporter of Syria’ Assad regime and Hezbollah, which has terrorized Lebanon , targeting Americans, as demonstrated by the two 1983 car bombs, that claimed the lives of 300 US Marines at the US Embassy and Marines headquarters in Beirut.

*The number of executions in Iran has increased during Rouhani’s presidency – 721 in 2014, 665 in 2013 and 522 in 2012 – which prohibits freedom of religion, speech, press, association and expression.

Notwithstanding such a ruthless track record, the “hope-driven, fact-dismissing school of thought” considers the Ayatollahs a partner for an agreement (rather than imposition), in a region where intra-Muslim agreements are usually signed on ice, not carved in stone.  In fact, the nature of the Iranian regime, on the one hand, and compliance with agreements, on the other hand, constitute a classic oxymoron.  

Furthermore, the long term goal of denying Iran nuclear capabilities – which may require deterrence-maximizing unilateral American action – could be undermined by short-term eagerness to conclude an agreement through the ineffective deterrence-minimizing multilateral action. The overt eagerness strengthens the hand of Iran and increases the price to be paid by the West.

Recent precedents suggest that the diplomatic option is applicable to rogue regimes that abandon violence, while a credible military option should be highlighted during negotiation with rogue regimes that adhere to violence. For instance, it was the 1988 intensification of the US bombing of Iranian targets, which led Ayatollah Khomeini to reluctantly evacuate Iraqi territory and sign a ceasefire agreement with Iraq. In 2003, Gaddafi’s dismantling his nuclear infrastructure, and Iran’s suspending nuclear development, were triggered by the US military devastation of Saddam Hussein. However, lowering the profile of the US military option has convinced Iran that it could get away with terror and nuclear.

Will the US learn from recent history by avoiding, or repeating, past mistakes?!

Are the Ayatollahs amenable to policy-change, or do they require a regime-change?

Yoram Ettinger, Jerusalem, Israel
www.TheEttingerReport.com, Facebook Description: fb   Twitter Description: twitter   LinkedIn Description: linkedin
Feedback and speaking engagements:  yoramtex@netvision.net.il

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The Abraham Accords – the US, Arab interests and Israel

Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan believe that the expansion of the Abraham Accords, the enhancement of Israel-Saudi defense and commercial cooperation and the conclusion of an Israel-Saudi Arabia peace accord are preconditioned upon major Israeli concessions to the Palestinian Authority.

Is such a belief consistent with Middle East reality?

Arab interests

*The signing of the Abraham Accords, and the role played by Saudi Arabia as a critical engine of the accords, were driven by the national security, economic and diplomatic interests of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and the Sudan.

*The Arab interest in peace accords with Israel was not triggered by the realization that the Jewish State was genuinely seeking peaceful-coexistence, nor by a departure from the fundamental tenets of Islam. It was motivated by the assessment that critical concerns of the respective Arab countries would be effectively-served by Israel’s advanced military (Qualitative Military Edge), technological and diplomatic capabilities in the face of mutual and lethal enemies, such as Iran’s Ayatollahs and Muslim Brotherhood terrorism.

*Saudi Arabia and the six Arab peace partners of Israel (including Egypt and Jordan) are aware that the Middle East resembles a volcano, which occasionally releases explosive lava – domestically and/or regionally – in an unpredictable manner, as evidenced by the 1,400-year-old stormy intra-Arab/Muslim relations, and recently demonstrated by the Arab Tsunami, which erupted in 2011 and still rages.

They wish to minimize the impact of rogue regimes, and therefore are apprehensive about the nature of the proposed Palestinian state, in view of the rogue Palestinian inter-Arab track record, which has transformed Palestinians into an intra-Arab role model of subversion, terrorism, treachery and ingratitude.

*They are anxious about the erosion of the US posture of deterrence, which is their most critical component of national security, and alarmed about the 43-year-old US diplomatic option toward Iran’s Ayatollahs, which has bolstered the Ayatollahs’ terroristic, drug trafficking and ballistic capabilities. They are also concerned about the US’ embrace of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is the largest Sunni terrorist entity with religious, educational, welfare and political branches. And, they are aware of the ineffectiveness of NATO (No Action Talk Only?), the European vacillation, and the vulnerability of all other Arab countries.

Israel’s role

*Saudi Arabia and the Arab partners to peace accords with Israel feel the machetes of the Ayatollahs and the Moslem Brotherhood at their throats. They consider Israel as the most reliable “life insurance agent” in the region.  They view Israel as the most effective US force-multiplier in the Middle East, and appreciate Israel’s proven posture of deterrence; flexing its military muscles against Iran’s Ayatollahs in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Iran itself and against Palestinian and Hezbollah terrorism. They respect Israel’s unique counter-terrorism intelligence and training capabilities, and its game-changing military and counter-terrorism battle tactics and technologies.

*The Arab view of Israel as a reliable partner on “a rainy day” has been bolstered by Israel’s willingness to defy US pressure, when it comes to Israel’s most critical national security and historic credos (e.g., Iran, Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria).  In addition, Saudi Arabia and Israel’s peace-partners aim to leverage Israel’s good-standing among most Americans – and therefore among most Senators and House Representatives – as a venue to enhance their military, commercial and diplomatic ties with the US.

*Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain are preoccupied with the challenge of economic diversification, realizing that they are overly-reliant on oil and natural gas, which are exposed to price-volatility, depletion and could be replaced by emerging cleaner and more cost-effective energy.

Thus, they consider Israel’s ground-breaking technologies as a most effective vehicle to diversify their economy, create more jobs in non-energy sectors, and establish a base for alternative sources of national income, while bolstering homeland and national security.

*The Abraham Accords – as well as Israel’s peace accords with Egypt and Jordan – and the unprecedented expansion of defense and commercial cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Israel, demonstrate that critical Arab national security interests may supersede fundamental tenets of Islam, such as the 1,400-year-old rejection of any “infidel” sovereignty in “the abode of Islam.”  Moreover, critical national security interests may lead to a dramatic moderation of the (Arab) education system, which is the most authentic reflection of one’s vision and policies.

Thus, contrary to the Palestinian Authority, the United Arab Emirates has uprooted hate-education curriculum, replacing it with pro-Israel/Jewish curriculum.

Abraham Accords’ durability

*The success of the Abraham Accords was a result of avoiding the systematic mistakes committed by the US State Department. The latter has produced a litany of failed peace proposals, centered on the Palestinian issue, while the Abraham accords bypassed the Palestinian issue, avoiding a Palestinian veto, and focusing on Arab interests. Therefore, the durability of the Abraham Accords depends on the interests of the respective Arab countries, and not on the Palestinian issue, which is not a top priority for any Arab country.

*The durability of the Abraham Accords depends on the stability of the individual Arab countries and the Middle East at-large.

*The Abraham Accord have yielded initial and unprecedented signs of moderation, modernity and peaceful coexistence, which requires the US to support the respective pro-US Arab regimes, rather than pressuring them (e.g., Saudi Arabia and the UAE).

*However, one should not ignore the grave threats to the durability of the accords, posed by the volcanic nature of the unstable, highly-fragmented, unpredictable, violently intolerant, non-democratic and tenuous Middle East (as related to intra-Arab relations!).  These inherent threats would be dramatically alleviated by a resolute US support.

*A major threat to the Abraham Accord is the tenuous nature of most Arab regimes in the Middle East, which yields tenuous policies and tenuous accords. For example, in addition to the Arab Tsunami of 2010 (which is still raging on the Arab Street), non-ballot regime-change occurred (with a dramatic change of policy) in Egypt (2013, 2012, 1952), Iran (1979, 1953), Iraq (2003, 1968, 1963-twice, 1958), Libya (2011, 1969), Yemen (a civil war since the ’90s, 1990, 1962), etc.

*Regional stability, the Abraham Accords and US interests would be undermined by the proposed Palestinian state west of the Jordan River (bearing in mind the intra-Arab Palestinian track record). It would topple the pro-US Hashemite regime east of the River; transforming Jordan into another platform of regional and global Islamic terrorism, similar to Libya, Syria, Iraq and Yemen; triggering a domino scenario, which would threaten every pro-US Arab oil-producing country in the Arabian Peninsula; yielding a robust tailwind to Iran’s Ayatollahs, Russia and China and a major headwind to the US.

*While Middle East reality defines policies and accords as variable components of national security, the topography and geography of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) and the Golan Heights are fixed components of Israel’s minimal security requirements in the reality of the non-Western Middle East. Israel’s fixed components of national security have secured its survival, and have dramatically enhanced its posture of deterrence. They transformed the Jewish State into a unique force and dollar multiplier for the US.

*The more durable the Abraham Accords and the more robust Israel’s posture of deterrence, the more stable the pro-US Arab regimes and the Middle East at-large; the more deterred are anti-US rogue regimes; the less potent are Middle Eastern epicenters of anti-US terrorism and drug trafficking; the more bolstered is the US global posture and the weaker is the posture of the US’ enemies and adversaries.

*Would the Arab regimes of the Abraham Accords precondition their critical ties with Israel upon Israeli concessions to the Palestinians, which they view as a rogue element? Would they sacrifice their national security and economic interests on the altar of the Palestinian issue? Would they cut off their nose to spite their face?

The fact that these Arab regimes concluded the Abraham Accords without preconditioning it upon Israeli concessions to the Palestinians, and that they limit their support of the Palestinians to talk, rather than walk, provides an answer to these three questions.

Support Appreciated






The post-1967 turning point of US-Israel cooperation

Israeli benefits to the US taxpayer exceed US foreign aid to Israel

Iran - A Clear And Present Danger To The USA

Exposing the myth of the Arab demographic time bomb