In The Washington Institute’s Policy Note entitled “Beyond Worst-Case Analysis: Iran’s Likely Responses to an Israeli Preventive Strike,” Michael Eisenstadt and Michael Knights set out to assuage the fears of those in Washington opposed to another Israeli-inspired war in the Middle East:
In the United States, the destabilizing potential of Iran’s reaction to such an attack has loomed large in official statements on the subject, while many independent analysts offer what can only be described as worst-case assessments. These analysts frequently assert that Tehran would use all means at its disposal to retaliate, including missile attacks, terrorism in the region and beyond, and closure of the Strait of Hormuz. For good measure, they add every conceivable unintended consequence to the mix, such as disaffected Iranians becoming radicalized and rallying to the side of a reviled regime, the Arab street rising up in support of Tehran, and Iran’s leaders initiating a clandestine crash program to build a nuclear bomb.
Apparently contradicting the alarmist Israeli narrative that supposedly justifies a preventive attack in the first place, i.e. that the “Mad Mullahs” can’t be trusted with nukes, the fellows from the AIPAC-created think tank sound a reassuring note, suggesting that the Iranian leaders are not as “irrational” as pro-Israelis generally like the world to believe:
Yet more than thirty years’ experience observing the current regime in Tehran, combined with insights derived from the Islamic Republic’s history and strategic culture, provide reason to support a more measured and less apocalyptic—if still sobering—assessment of the likely aftermath of a preventive strike.