Two former CIA directors ask Biden to threaten Iran militarily


A group of hawks former US national security officials, lawmakers and diplomats have launched a public campaign to pressure the Biden administration to militarily threaten Iran. the declaration, headlined by former CIA chiefs Leon Panetta and retired General David Petraeus as well as former senior Obama-era Pentagon official Michèle Flournoy says “it’s vital to restore fear of Iran that his current nuclear path triggers the use of force against him in the United States. “

The statement – which was also signed by former Democratic Representative Jane Harman and Democratic diplomacy heavyweight Dennis Ross, and released by the Washington Institute, a militarist think tank – argues that the Biden administration must “take action. measures which lead Iran to believe that persisting in its current behavior and rejecting a reasonable diplomatic resolution will jeopardize its entire nuclear infrastructure, a laborious infrastructure built over the past three decades. They suggest that President Joe Biden is considering “orchestrating high-level military exercises by US Central Command, potentially in concert with allies and partners, that simulate what would be involved in such a large operation, including the repeated air-to-ground attacks against targets and the removal of Iranian missile batteries.

Iranian analyst Hooman Majd, author of “Ayatollah Begs to Defer: Modern Iran Paradox,” said the letter from former US officials “is just plain silly.” He told The Intercept: “There is no ‘restoration’ of fear of Iran – the last time he feared a US military strike or war was right after invading Iraq as it looked like an easy victory there and in Afghanistan might lead to ‘Real men are going to Tehran.’ Majd points out that despite repeated threats from the United States and Israel of military action, Iran has steadily “beefed up” its military capabilities. “So I would say that Iran is not afraid of American military action. against him now, “he added.” All the Israeli boast about preparing for war with Iran hasn’t changed their calculation – and they know Israel is probably more likely to attack their countries. installations than the United States – so why would any boasting or “preparations” by the United States for war do it? “

Trita Parsi, executive vice president of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, lambasted the statement, telling The Intercept: “The exaggerated faith in the miracles that US military threats can produce is not confined to one party in the United States. , but is intrinsic to the establishment religion that American security is achieved through global military hegemony.

Former U.S. officials argued their strategy was to force Iran to sit at the negotiating table and force it to reverse all nuclear weapons development efforts following the abandonment by Donald Trump of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA. “While the United States has recognized Iran’s right to civilian nuclear power, Iran’s behavior continues to indicate that it not only wants to preserve a nuclear weapons option, but that it wants to is actively moving towards the development of this capacity, ”they wrote. While pleading for potential military action – and openly calling on Biden to make explicit military threats – the letter’s authors say their intention is to support diplomatic efforts. “[W]We do not urge the Biden administration to threaten “regime change” or advocate for a “regime change” strategy under the guise of non-proliferation, “they wrote. “This is not about hostility towards Iran or its people.”

Parsi, an Iranian-American analyst and author of “Losing an Enemy: Obama, Iran and the Triumph of Diplomacy,” added: “Rather than being the solution to the crisis, the military threat that the United States One of the main reasons the Iranian nuclear program has spread is the United States weighing down on Iran. The more military threats a country faces, the more it will demand nuclear deterrence.

During the 2020 presidential campaign, Biden has repeatedly criticized Trump’s abandonment of the nuclear deal and his assassination of Major General Qassim Suleimani in Baghdad on January 3. But nearly a year after starting his presidency, Biden has taken no action to revert to the deal and has taken an increasingly hostile stance towards Tehran. In late August, Biden appeared to be putting military options on the table. Speaking at a press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett at the White House, Biden said: “If diplomacy fails” with Iran, “we are ready to look to other options.” The Biden administration has maintained and, in some cases, extended U.S. economic sanctions against Iran, prompting claims from Tehran that the United States is already waging a non-military war against Iranian civilians. Iran demands an end to sanctions as a precondition for resuming negotiations.

“Iran has every reason to want to restore the JCPOA – at least in terms of lifting the most onerous sanctions against it. But he’s hardly going to commit because he thinks the United States will go to war with him if he doesn’t, ”said Majd.

“Donald Trump’s military threats and sweeping economic sanctions are precisely why we are in this mess right now. Believing that more Trumpian conduct by the United States will break the nuclear impasse is confusing the mind, ”Parsi said. “Trump’s exit from the deal and the lack of confidence that the United States will remain in the deal beyond 2024 has deeply undermined the value of US sanctions relief pledges. The Iranians are reluctant in large part because that they do not believe in the economic benefits promised by the US No amount of military threats will change this fundamental weakness in the US negotiating position. “


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