Analysts say that Iran exploits weak Western approach as US and Europe fail to respond to aggressive Iranian moves.
Iran is likely to be the winner in nuclear talks with the US and its allies, several analysts estimate. The experts say that Tehran’s strategy is more effective and are pessimistic about the Biden Administration’s ability to counter it.
The US approach to the nuclear question is flawed and gives Iran the advantage, says security analyst Seth Frantzman. America’s key objective is to finalize a deal and avoid a war, he wrote in The Jerusalem Post. Western officials issue vague threats about holding Iran accountable but view military force as a last resort, he said.
Moreover, the US conduct suggests that hostile Iranian moves are not hurting Tehran’s diplomatic efforts. This enables Iran to use proxy attacks on US targets in the region to gain more leverage, he wrote.
Iran is fully aware of the US mindset and excels at exploiting it, Frantzman said. Unlike Russia or Turkey, Western diplomats see military conflict as a failure, he noted. As war is largely unacceptable, the US will ultimately choose to give Iran what it wants, Tehran believes. So far, Iran’s assumptions and calculations seem to be correct.
Iran believes US is scared
Recent US statements signal an intention to submit to Iran’s demands, says Yossi Kuperwasser, formerly a military intelligence research chief. This could prompt the Iranians to take tougher positions in the upcoming negotiations, he told IDF radio.
Iran believes that aggressive moves such as threats to accelerate its nuclear efforts and attacks on US targets scare the Americans, Kuperwasser said. For now, the US and Europe are not taking any action in response to Tehran’s provocative moves, he observed.
Strategic affairs expert Michael Segal also estimates that the Iranians are headed for victory over the US. Iran sees the nuclear issue as a central part of its historic struggle against America and the West, he wrote. Meanwhile, the Western view is narrower and focuses on securing a deal and buying some quiet for a few years.
Overall, the Iranians seem more determined than the Americans and shows less willingness to compromise, Segal concluded.
Iran’s mastery of nuclear poker and Biden’s expected flexibility are bad news for Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated Tuesday that Jerusalem is not counting on a deal and will do everything to prevent Tehran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
This week, Netanyahu convened Israel’s top leaders for the first strategic meeting on the issue in the Biden era. One estimate at the session was that the US position is increasing the likelihood of a direct war with Iran, Israel Hayom daily reported.
Notably, a minister close to Netanyahu previously warned that Biden’s policies could spark a war. Meanwhile, the military option is back on the agenda as the IDF draws up new plans for attack.