Trump is trying to restore deterrent capability

The President of the United States Donald trump in response to missile tests in Iran warned that it would not waive any possible means. This statement, at least theoretically, returns on the agenda of a possible military operation against Iran. Although trump has issued a warning about the missile program of Iran, the previous us administration in the same tone talked about the nuclear program and the possibility of Tehran obtaining nuclear weapons.

During the stay of Barack Obama in the White house changed the US attitude to military operations. While the negotiations on the nuclear program progress, the administration argued that it is not rejecting this option. The Americans said that “all options remain on the table”. Israel followed the same approach. Only the US and Israel have made similar warnings to Iran, but other countries feared the consequences.

But in the period preceding the signing of the agreement, the Israeli position was different from the American one. The Americans argued that, although the use of force is possible, but the conditions for this yet. First, such a move will not stop the Iranian nuclear program, only delay it for a few years. Second, Iran will respond with attacks on American targets and U.S. allies, and this will lead to a General chaos in the middle East. Finally, the military operation will accelerate Iranian nuclear programme and will give Iran a reason to acquire the atomic bomb. For these reasons, the American administration has opposed an Israeli strike on Iran, fearing that the US will be dragged into this. Israel, for its part, did not oppose military operations and criticized the U.S. government for its statements about the inappropriate action of time undermines the effect of the threat of use of force.

Before signing the agreement, the U.S. administration refrained from mention of the use of force, fearing that it might damage the atmosphere of negotiations. As the development of the agreement and especially after the signing of the United States said that the military operation ineffective, and warned Israel to refrain from such actions. Only a short time representatives of the American security said that the agreement justifies the use of military force in case of violation of agreements.

The Obama administration renounced the use of force, and this led to the fact that Iran ceased to be with US, being assured that so long as the agreement remains in force, America will not attack. The agreement has also dampened the effect of the threat of use of force by Israel, as it is clear that Israel will not be able to attack, while the agreement remains in force, so as not to break the agreements between Tehran, the United States and Europe. In such a situation Jerusalem risked to remain with Tehran alone, without the support of Washington.

Trump statements that he will not be “as good” with Iran as its predecessor, and that all means can be used, was intended primarily to recover significantly weakened U.S. deterrent capability against Iran. Unlikely trump will soon order to attack, and there are several reasons. First, Iran has not violated the agreement, and secondly, other parties to the agreement against the attacking third, not yet lifted restrictions against the Iranian nuclear program, the agreement has more benefits than disadvantages.

But the rules have changed, and Tehran doesn’t know what trump’s plans against Iran. The Iranian leadership should behave carefully and realize that, while in the White house is the unpredictable leader, the likelihood of an American attack against nuclear facilities and, perhaps, missile bases, in the case of a breach increases dramatically. It is possible that the trump, unlike his predecessor, will not oppose Israeli operations to strengthen deterrent capability.

Dr. Ephraim Kam is a senior researcher of the Institute of national security studies.