Restoring Deterrence: Destabilising the Iranian Regime

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Restoring Deterrence: Destabilising the Iranian Regime

30 May @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

The Islamic Republic of Iran’s strategic use of terrorist proxies against Israel and United States assets in the Middle East continues without being held accountable. Tehran, emboldened by its advancing nuclear capabilities, has now crossed the rubicon to recently launch direct drone, cruise, and ballistic missile attacks against Israel. While Israel prioritises its response to Iranian proxies such as the Houthis, Hezbollah, and Hamas, the U.S. has sought to avoid escalation at all costs and localise the conflict with Iran. All while Tehran’s aggression spills over, with the regime sending critical weapons supplies to Russia in support of its illegal war in Ukraine. Any semblance of a united Western deterrence towards the regime lies in tatters.

Iran is recasting the Middle East in its image not only via it extending its Shiite arc throughout the region, but by encircling Israel. Moreover, the regime’s heightened aggression has spilled over to it aligning with Russia and China as part of the ‘Axis of Resistance’ against the US-led liberal international order. At this point, can deterrence be restored? How is restoring deterrence synonymous with destabilising the Iranian regime? What are potential targets on Iranian soil? What are the prospects for the US or Israel to strike against regime facilities or personnel on Iranian soil?


Speakers include:


Yonah Jeremy Bob is the author of ‘Target Tehran’, about the Mossad’s secret war against Iran’s nuclear program and its role in the Abraham Accords, published by Simon & Schuster in September 2023. Yonah is also the Jerusalem Post’s senior military correspondent, intelligence analyst and Literary Editor. He covers the Israeli military, the Mossad, the Shin Bet, defense technologies, Iran’s weapons of mass destruction, cyberwarfare, and war crimes allegations.



Robert Greenway is the Director of the Allison Center for National Defense at The Heritage Foundation. He previously served as President and Executive Director of the Abraham Accords Peace Institute. Robert served as Deputy Assistant to the US President and Senior Director of the National Security Council’s Middle Eastern and North African Affairs Directorate. In that role he was responsible for developing, coordinating and implementing U.S. government policy for all of those regions. Prior to Robert’s service on the NSC he served as a Senior Intelligence Officer at the Defense Intelligence Agency, and a combat veteran of the United States Army Special Forces.



Lt. Col. (RET.) Jonathan Conricus is a senior fellow at Foundation for Defense of Democracies focused on the Middle East. He served in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) for 24 years as a combat commander in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. Jonathan was the first Israeli officer to be seconded to the United Nations (UN), during which he provided military and strategic analysis for UN peacekeeping forces. He has directed social media and public diplomacy efforts and has extensive on- and off-camera experience from his years as a spokesperson.



Barak Seener is a Senior Research Fellow at the Henry Jackson Society and the founder of Strategic Intelligentia and the Gulf Futures Forum. Barak also hosts a geopolitical podcast called The Geo Godfather Wars. Previously, Barak was a Global Intelligence Manager at HSBC and the Middle East Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute. Barak has lectured at NATO as well as the Royal College for Defence Studies. He also staged the world’s first, and hugely successful conference in London at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) on Palestinian statehood. Barak published a book in 2018 entitled, ‘Commercial Risks Entering the Iranian Market: Why sanctions make investment in the Islamic Republic of Iran a high-risk proposition.’

Barak has published and provided analysis and expert commentary for a range of international broadcasters including Al-Jazeera, BBC, CNN, Chinese CCTV, Fox News, Sky News, Voice of America, and news outlets such as Bloomberg, Reuters, Associated Press, the Evening Standard, Jerusalem Post and Xinhua. Barak has published in publications including Newsweek, the National Interest, the American Interest, Jane’s Intelligence Review and Jane’s Islamic Affairs Analyst on counter-terrorism, US-China dynamics, risks to supply chains, globalization and the end of the liberal international order, transatlantic relations, universal jurisdiction, nuclear proliferation and Middle East issues including the Arab Spring, tensions in Libya, Egypt and Syria, strategic and security dynamic between Iran and the Gulf, and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

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The report launch and conversation that followed focused on the breakdown of US, Israeli, and Western deterrence against Iran and the need to restore it. Speakers emphasised the importance of a comprehensive approach, involving US leadership and a new regional security architecture. They addressed the threat of Iran’s use of proxy forces against Israel and strategies for containing Iran’s power. Barak Seener, the report’s author, argued that due to failed deterrence against Iran’s aggression, the West, particularly Israel, must adopt a more assertive foreign policy, including targeting Iranian interests on its soil. Retired Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Cronicus suggested that Israel must directly target Iran to change the dynamics of proxy attacks. Robert Greenway noted the economic and security impacts of lost deterrence due to US appeasement and called for US leadership to restore it. Yonah Jeremy Bob emphasised Iran’s long-term threat, advocating for Israel to destabilize Iran by targeting key personnel and infrastructure and retaliating directly for proxy attacks. The discussion also covered strategies for countering Iran’s nuclear program and evaluated the Obama, Trump, and Biden administrations’ nuclear deals with Iran. Speakers speculated on the potential implications of a change in the US administration or the continuation of the Biden administration on US and Israeli Iran policy. 


30 May
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm


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