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Fathom Highlight – Deterring Iran: Time for a new mindset / 20 January / 2016

In the first post-deal test of Western resolve – the closure of the probe into the past possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear programme – the West blinked first. The message to Iran is that brinkmanship works and that the West is deterred by Iranian threats more than the other way round, because Western desire to see the deal proceed far outweighed its political will to strictly enforce its terms. All this before sanctions had even been lifted.

In new analysis for Fathom, our advisory editor Brig. Gen Michael Herzog argues that, in the post-deal Middle East, the West needs a new mindset to deter Iran’s ambition for regional hegemony.

Deterring Iran: Time for a new mindset

by Michael Herzog

As the nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 goes into effect with the announcement of Implementation Day and the lifting of major international sanctions, the huge challenge of making it work still lies ahead for the international community. While the deal’s prospects will primarily be determined by Western deterrence against Iran, recent events preceding this new strategic era have eroded Western deterrence rather than strengthening it. This is perhaps best symbolised by the fact that while 2016 started with...

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