Iran's deterrent power depends on weapons programs that include ballistic missiles, drones, and space industries (Iranian press)

Tehran -

Based on its military doctrine that adopts a “second strike” to retaliate for the first strike and prevent subsequent strikes, the Islamic Republic of Iran has worked since its early years to create a deterrent force that relies on large armament programs and a network of regional allies to deter opponents and banish the specter of war from its borders.

In addition to the ballistic missile programs, drones, and space industries, Tehran has continued to adhere to its nuclear program despite the heavy tax it paid for it, making its stock of highly enriched uranium a factor that some foreign parties fear, according to observers.

Despite the fatwa of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei declaring “the prohibition of manufacturing and using weapons of mass destruction,” Islamic sectarian jurists and orientalists know well that “Shiite jurisprudence is built on vital, dynamic foundations” that make it capable of responding to developments and keeping pace with them, thus turning Tehran’s nuclear program into a stick raised above the heads of the parties. Which Tehran classifies as enemies.

In light of Iran’s continuous threats throughout recent decades “that it will cut off the hands that affect its national security,” Tehran has already tried to carry out military strikes outside its borders, especially on Syrian, Iraqi, and Pakistani lands. However, the latter’s behavior was different, as it responded - last month - in the same way inside Iranian territories.

If the concept of deterrence is equal to intimidation and the threat of punishment and revenge against those who attack the national security of countries, then the recent Pakistani response and the American raids that targeted 7 facilities, including more than 85 targets used by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and its affiliated armed groups in Syria and Iraq, have raised questions in Iranian circles about... The possibility of changing the concept of deterrence, and whether excessive threats and threats may empty them of their content.

Credibility of the threat

Since the voices of threats and threats of revenge and punishment are rising from many Iranian figures and institutions following the operations targeting the depths of the Islamic Republic, Farzad Ahmadi, an academic at Tarbiat University, a teacher and researcher in geostrategic issues, urges his country to narrow the circle of parties that have the right to threaten in order to strengthen the national deterrence force.

Speaking to Al Jazeera Net, Ahmadi believes that excessive and exaggerated threats make them lose their effect, stressing the necessity of identifying a figure who is likely to be among the leaders of the power hierarchy to issue threats in the context of deterrence theory, and ensuring that they are implemented in accordance with the equation of “returning with two equal wounds.”

The Iranian researcher considered that his country's deterrence power is based on its military capacity in addition to its relative strength in politics rather than economics, describing the resistance movements allied with Tehran as having strengthened the latter's influence in the region and expanding the deterrence circle and its front front to hundreds of kilometers outside its borders, which aroused the ire of the major powers that... These days, it intends to confront the resistance factions.

On the other hand, the former Iranian ambassador to Armenia and Brazil, Ali Saqqian, believes that “the credibility of the position of the Islamic Republic’s spiritual leaders takes precedence over the element of military capability in the deterrence equation,” stressing that his country derives part of its deterrent powers from Iranian society, which constantly renews its support for his country’s policies.

Speaking to Al Jazeera Net, the former Iranian diplomat believes that the escalation of threatening voices following sabotage and terrorist operations indicates freedom of expression in his country, stressing that despite the fatwa of the religious authority in Iran prohibiting nuclear weapons, the technology achieved by Tehran will remain a helpful factor in strengthening its deterrent power.

He concluded that successive Iranian governments, despite their differences in methods and policies, participate in deterrence diplomacy. Some of them believe in the necessity of resolving differences at the negotiating table, and others believe in strengthening traditional capabilities in addition to consolidating foreign relations and concluding strategic alliances with regional powers and friendly countries.

Diplomat Saqaian believes that Tehran’s keenness to implement its threats strengthens its deterrent power (Iranian press)

Threats that undermine deterrence

While a segment of Iranians believe that “attack is the best means of defence,” especially in neutralizing threats to national security, and that one should not wait until the second strike is received to respond and retaliate, another segment believes that deterrence (the threat of using force) represents the best way to ensure national security. and national interests.

In contrast to Saqaian, who believes that Tehran’s eagerness to implement its threats enhances its deterrent power, political geography professor Atta Taqavi Asl believes that some of these threats have undermined national deterrence and opened the door for some powers, such as Pakistan, to carry out military strikes inside Iranian territory for the first time after the war. Iraqi-Iranian, and others like the United States, which has begun to declare openly that it is targeting Iranian targets on Iraqi, Syrian, and Yemeni lands.

Speaking to Al Jazeera Net, Taqawi criticized his country's policy of taking hasty positions and pointing fingers at some foreign parties before completing investigations and investigations, stressing the necessity of forming a fact-finding committee into security incidents, and believed that military retaliation must be the last option after the failure of diplomatic channels to neutralize the situation. Dangers.

Part of the American attacks on Iraq (social networking sites)

Restoring the deterrence equation

For his part, strategic researcher Reda Nasri believes that the deterrence equation consists of the sum of the countries’ military capabilities and their credibility in the threat to discourage attacking parties from taking any practical action against them, stressing that the results may be adverse if adequate attention is not given to the second dimension of this equation.

In an article published on the Iranian Jamaran News Agency, Nasri believes that the excessive threat by some parties not concerned with the threat may undermine the influence of the credibility factor of the threats at the regional and international levels and raise the pressure of internal public opinion to demand taking military steps, even if retaliation is sometimes contradictory to the country’s strategy.

The strategic researcher drew a road map for restoring Iran's deterrence power according to a number of steps, including amending the discourse and not just displaying military power, strengthening diplomacy and adopting a discourse calling for peace, so that the threat would be exceptional in the country and very serious for the competing powers.

Likewise, limiting the threat and promise of revenge to the powers of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces alone, and raising the credibility of the country’s positions, especially in using the threat element as it is an important factor in the deterrence equation.

Source: Al Jazeera