Pentagon says Iran concerned primarily with deterring an attack


The Iran question is often posed, as it was in last week's debate to Ron Paul, as a hypothetical. If Iran was proven to have a nuclear weapon what steps would be taken by the US to assure they did not attack Israel? The establishment media is skillful in the presentation and structure of the debate. The question assumes it is the responsibility of the US to protect Israel from a strike by Iran. But more importantly it assumes that Iran has the ability and strategic desire to attack Israel.

This unclassified assessment of Iran's military capability by the US Department of Defense clearly states that "To ensure regime survival, Iran's security strategy is based first on deterring an attack."

The document goes on to make this key statement, "Iran's nuclear program and its willingness to keep open the possibility of developing nuclear weapons is a central part of its deterrent strategy."

But what if the unpredictable Ahmadinejad and company in Tehran suddenly changed their strategy and decided to go on the offensive? Fortunately they would not have the capability according to the DoD which states, "At present Iran's forces are sufficent to deter or defend against conventional threats from Iran's weaker neighbors such as post-war Iraq, the GCC, Azerbaijan or Afghanistan but lack the air power and logistical ability to power much beyond Iran's boarders or to confront regional powers such as Turkey or Israel."

Stated simply Iran wants to obtain the necessary weapons to defend itself in a bad neighborhood where it finds itself surrounded by a global superpower.

The hyping of the potential nuclear program in Iran is Washington's attempt to establish a pretext that would garner public support for a strike/destabilization campaign on Iran. The obvious goal would be regime change.

So the real reason the Pentagon sees a nuclear program in Iran as a threat is not because it would be used as a first strike weapon against Israel, but because it would make it more difficult for the US and its allies to take out the regime in Tehran.

Many in Washington would love to have cooperative leadership in place in Tehran because it would tilt the control of world energy resources sharply in favor of the US and its allies. But as long as Iran is rogue and friendly with Russia and China we can expect to hear about Iran's potential nuclear program and the danger it presents Israel and the world.

In the light of these facts the current debate in the Republican presidential primary appears to be nothing but propaganda, save the argument made by Ron Paul.

Additional Reading:

The Devil We Know: Dealing with the New Iranian Superpower by Robert Baer

All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror

Filed Under: FeaturedForeign Policy


About the Author: Shaun Booth is editor of

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  1. NCMarc says:

    Sounds like Ron Paul is right on Iran.

    • Republicae says:

      Not only is Ron Paul right about Iran, but it appears that he is right about the reasons for 9/11, since it appears that none of the other GOP candidates actually know what they are talking about then can there really be any other choice for the American people to make? Ron Paul knows his stuff, from the economy to money to defense, he would put AMERICA FIRST!

      Here is a quote from Paul Wolfowitz in a Defense Department transcript:

      This is the ACTUAL quotes from Wolfowitz on BLOWBACK and 9/11/

      “[W]e can now remove almost all of our forces from Saudi Arabia. Their presence there over the last 12 years has been a source of enormous difficulty for a friendly government. It’s been a huge recruiting device for al Qaeda. In fact if you look at bin Laden, one of his principle grievances was the presence of so-called crusader forces on the holy land, Mecca and Medina. I think just lifting that burden from the Saudis is itself going to open the door to other positive things.”

      Wolfowitz, 2003

      Full interview from the US Department of Defense website:

  2. anonoped says:

    So if this is all true and in light of the statements of the people that want to foment open war with Iran.

    Does this now make their statements and actions treason?

    • Paul says:

      Its the same people who fed false intelligence to the US people (The government and media knew it was false BTW) about Iraq. Their first loyalty has never been to the US, and never will be. You know it yourselves. Its more than treason, its active subversion.

  3. [...] latest statement from the U.S. Department of Defense is a sure blow to many GOP candidates (except Ron Paul). GOP candidates blasted Paul in recent debates for saying that Iran could not [...]

  4. elmerck says:

    Ron Paul is a liberatarin and is about as crazy as a loon.If the people who are backing him want an idiot to run afgainst Obama,they are piching the right one.Obama wi;; wipe the old fool off the map, and we will be saddled with him for 4 more years.I am notin favor of giving Obama any more time, and will not support the Republican Party if they were to happen to minate Paul.which I doubt.We have to get an intelligent individual :either Ginrich or Romney to be our party niminee,so we can get the democrats out of the W.H. and win back the Senate, so we can get this country back on the right track.

    • jd says:

      I voted for bush to keep the other guys out. I voted for the lesser evil and the result was still evil. I will not vote out of fear of the other guy ever again but out of trust for the right guy. Ron Paul keeps his word based on the evidence of how he acted when he was the sole voice of opposition. I will vote my conscience and if Obama wins, it is because you voted for a man of lesser character.

      • rhokeral says:

        Well said.

      • ThinksFree says:

        Same here. I will vote my conscience and I won’t be pigeonholed into believing that my only choices are Bad A and Bad B. The establishment is trying to sell a lie that Ron Paul isn’t electable. He is. People are waking up to truth and once you’re on to the DC game, Ron Paul starts making a lot of sense.

        elmerck – At the very least, read his book, The Revolution, and make an informed decision. Don’t be afraid to stand up for liberty, freedom, and what you know is right. Help be part of the solution.

    • TheKoz says:

      ~ elmerck

      Are you serious ?

      Gingrich or Romney would be a better party nominee ?!?!

      Gingrich is a piece of garbage who is just looking for another Freddie Mac payday.

      And Romney is a flip flopping, I’ll say whatever I have to to make you like me LIAR.

      Ron Paul is actually an honest man who loves America and its people and wants to see it strong again.

      ~ P.S. You’re a moron.

    • TheNewFourthEstate says:

      Ron Paul is crazy about Peace, Freedom and defending the US Constitution. I guess I’m crazy too.

    • Konrad Duden says:

      @elmerck: here are a few headlines you missed:

      (5/2011)-”CNN Poll: Ron Paul Best Against Obama”

      (9/2011)-”Shows Paul beating Obama in head-to-head matchup”

      (11/2011)-”Paul stays within striking distance of Obama”

      (12/2011)-”Paul polls in top three again,best vs. Obama”

    • Republicae says:

      First, Ron Paul is far, far removed from an idiot, his intelligence is well known and widely recognized. He realized what most American’s would rather not think about and that is the fact that several years ago this government became technically bankrupt and that we are rapidly moving toward an effective bankruptcy. Now, what do you suppose will happen with that effective bankruptcy takes place?

      Ron Paul is the only candidate that has proposed actual cuts, not just cutting the rate of spending, but actually cutting existing expenditures. If you want your children to suffer through what is just around the corner then by all means support those other candidates.

      Personally, I would feel safer with Ron Paul as President than any other man in this country, especially Obama and the GOP Neo-Cons!

    • Daniel M. Tipping says:

      “If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism. I think conservatism is really a misnomer just as liberalism is a misnomer for the liberals–if we were back in the days of the Revolution, so-called conservatives today would be the Liberals and the liberals would be the Tories. The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is.”
      - Ronald Reagan

      political philosophy that holds individual liberty as the basic moral principle of society. In the broadest sense, it is any political philosophy which approximates this view. Libertarianism includes diverse beliefs, all advocating strict limits to government activity and sharing the goal of maximizing individual liberty and political freedom.

      With which part do you have a problem?

      • Thomas says:

        And to make matters more interesting, 120 years ago, the Democratic party was more libertarian while the Republican party was more populist or corporatist. Ever hear of Grover Cleveland? Ever read his policy decisions? I think it sounds an awful lot like Ron Paul’s positions.

    • Lee says:

      understand that you are actually more liberal than conservative if you want one of those two. if you don’t mind things the way they are go ahead ond vote for them. very little difference from Obama except they claim they are republican. Research and education on the candidates helps.

    • bv says:

      yap yap yap……….. Our country can’t last another 4 years with either of those warmongering, money spending, neocon LOONS in power. You are as blind as a bat if you can’t see what a terrible mess we are in.

    • Alan D. Price, PhD says:

      How can we ever hope to “get the democrats out of the W.H.” with an “intelligent individual” like elmerck advocating for us. Poor spelling does not a good impression make. Nor does the use of ad hominems.

    • elmerck, apparently your poor spelling is only surpassed by your reading comprehension. The article supports Dr. Paul’s longstanding criticism of American foreign policy, so how do you derive conclusions like “crazy as a loon” from this information? Obviously, you didn’t rationally come to such a conclusion because it is not a conclusion at all, only an emotionally opinionated ad hominem that required no prior thought.

    • wiserthanthou says:

      “We have to get an intelligent individual…” Excuse me for being straightforward, but if intelligence is an issue, it’s best you stay out of the conversation.

  5. hiyall says:

    The hypothetical not posed is: “At what cost would prosecuting against Iran’s government in terms of Dollars; American dead, wounded and emotionally traumatized; Iranian civilian dead and wounded; Blowback (hatred of Iranian survivors for USA in the future)?”

    The war mongers, demonize, dehumanize and caste the potential conflict as a dire crisis, in order to mobilize our country to go to war.

  6. j says:

    elmereck-care to offer any evidence of his lunacy? Seems people like yourself use the Iran stance as your “proof” that he is “loony”…Did you even read the above article???

  7. JH says:

    For those wondering how Paul could possibly say that he understands why Iran would want a nuclear weapon, consider this:

    Iran has two options:
    1) Work to develop a nuke -> Get invaded.
    2) Don’t develop a nuke -> Get invaded.

    Which path do you think they are most likely to take?

  8. edlm says:

    Ron Paul is right about EVERYTHING the problem is everyone else is crazy.

  9. BrooklynChick says:

    So Ron Paul was right and Buchmann, that dirty whore, knew she was lying.

  10. Lee says:

    Ron Paul is spot on and has been. Hopefully enough people will come to realize it and get this country back on top.

  11. Catherine says:

    I knew it!

    I think Ron Paul is a different kind of President like he said at the Debate Sat nite. I see hope for our country in him. He keeps saying, for our people. I think he is the only one who will do right by us. Ok Ron, YOUR MY NEW TEAPARTY CANDIDATE!

    Now I wish Chris Wallace would go down the line and ask what each politician felt about the New World Order. Ron Paul is the only one opposed to it.

  12. Rammy says:

    Ron Paul was right again. Why we are involved in the middle east for oil is beyond me when we have a ton of oil and natural resources here. If we want to boost our economy and stop supporting terrible dictators on the other side of the globe, lets use tap into the oil here in the US. It would make gas much cheaper and the money would go to US companies which will help our economy. The solution is so easy! Keep our money in the USA!

  13. R.R. Ledford says:

    “But as long as Iran is rogue and friendly with Russia and China ”
    We, the USA, are the ROGUE here, in light of our ongoing policy of attacking the world as the new way we lead.
    We have been running a clandestine ware against Iran for years. What is the single “axis of evil” nation we leave alone -> N.Korea. What do they have that Iran does not? => Entry level atomic Dirty Bomb.
    What seems to be the best deterrent to U.S.& Israeli aggression? => A-Bomb(s)
    If I were running Iran, I would want an A-Bomb ASAP.

  14. meh-GID-oh says:

    Ron Paul has ZERO clue on the global threat of Islam. He or his staff need to check this site out and wake from their sleep.

  15. Moridin says:

    Ron Paul is the only one with a serious strategy for national defense.Invading another country is not a strategy for defense, it’s more of the same pre-emptive BS that we have been dealing with for years now and it is always under false pretenses.

    If you spend a small amount of time reading into blow-back and suicide bombings, you will quickly see that Ron Paul IS RIGHT. You will also see that all of the other more war, less liberty candidates are deceptive in the statements that they continually make. They are all just pushing establishment talking points…. like all of the MSM propagandists.

    What about the domestic reasons for ending these wars? The financial aspects of it are so glaringly obvious… but what moves me more than anything else are videos like this…

    Think about all of the American lives and families that these policies destroy. For what? Natural Resources? Hegemony?

  16. Paul says:

    Given the increasingly shill threats to Iran from Israel with its un-inspected nuclear arsenal, then the Iranian leadership would be derelict in their duty to their people not to develop their own deterrent. It is Israel making all the threats, not Iran.

    Israel has always been the problem. Right from the start.

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