The Iran threat delusion

TFF PressInfo
May 8, 2013

Contacts for interviews as well as analytical sources below the statement.


Scores of Western politicians state that Iran is a threat to its neighbours or even the world. But before we end up in yet another cruel war based on wrong assumptions and delusion, somebody should ask them the simple question: How do you know?

– There is little, in fact, to back up these claims. Each time Iran spends 7 US$ on its military, the U.S. spends 700 US$, Israel 15,60 US$, Saudi-Arabia 44 US$ and the Arab Emirates 16 US$. Therefore, if Iran were to start a war, it would have to ignore the “balance of forces” of 1:110 with its basic opponents!

– “To construct Iran as a threat, one must assume that its leaders are lunatics or suicidal. There’s no evidence they are,” says Jan Oberg, director of TFF, The Transnational Foundation in Sweden*.


– False or exaggerated threat assertions are necessary to build up legitimacy among citizens before wars are started. Experts call it “fearology”: Instill fear in peoples’ minds and they accept, from left to right, their own governments’ taxpayer-funded wars.

– Iran’s military expenditure is roughly the size of Norway’s. It has not invaded any country since 1738 but has repeatedly been invaded. Its population is 10 times larger than Israel’s and its military costs half as much. Contrary to Israel, it has no nukes, it’s party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and accepts inspections. Facts like these would be part of professional threat analysis.

– Unfortunately, the fact-based analysis plays a much smaller role in today’s security debate than it did, say, 20-30 years ago. In its place we have witnessed, since the 1990s, a rampant growth in government-funded PR companies and think tanks as well as ministry spin doctors/spokespersons who churn out deceptive messages to the public. “This simply increases the risk of war and must, therefore, be challenged,” ends Jan Oberg.

Constructive proposals for a new Iran policy

War is not an option. It has no role to play if dissuading Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons is the goal of the West. Only if what it is really up to is regime change, may war be an option.

TFF has about 20 policy proposals as to what all sides can do to reduce the risk of war and facilitate trustful relations between the West and Iran.

You’ll find these proposals in the source material below and in the three videos at TFF Video Channel. You are welcome also to contact our experts.


Dr Jan Oberg, TFF director
+46 738 525200

Dr Gunnar Westberg, TFF board member

Phone +46 72 744 30 23 or +46 31 82 86 92

Dr Farhang Jahanpour
, TFF Associate
Dept. of Continuing Education, member of the Kellogg College, Oxford
Former professor at Isfahan’s University
, Iran
Phone – call Jan Oberg’s number

TFF Sources

Iran, Israel and the USA

By Gunnar Westberg

Room for optimism in Iran and the P5+1 talks
By Farhang Jahanpour

Israel’s nuclear weapons

By Jonathan Power, TFF Associate 

Attacking Iran – Disaster for the region and the whole world

By Johan Galtung, TFF Associate

What to do instead of bombing Iran?

By Jan Oberg, video

For a de-nuclearized Middle East

By Daisaku Ikeda, TFF Associate

The U.S. Congress pushes for war with Iran

By Stephen Zunes, TFF Associate

An innocent victim of our sanction against Iran

By Jan Oberg

Iran and Israel – What the West should and can do

By Jan Oberg

Was it wrong to support the Iranian revolution because it turned out badly?

By Richard Falk, TFF Associate.


Who is TFF? Why is it qualified?

*The Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research, TFF in Lund, Sweden is independent of government and corporate funding and thus conducts truly free research.

Thanks to its 60 expert Associates around the world, it has a well-respected capacity from on-the-ground conflict analysis and mediation work in places such as Georgia, ex-Yugoslavia, Israel-Palestine, Iraq, Burundi.

Since 1986 years TFF has worked for the UN Charter goal of peace by peaceful means. 

TFF produces truthful, comprehensive analyses and critiques the exaggerated use of violent means. That’s diagnosis and prognosis. But we also do treatment because the world will not become a better place without constructive dialogue and ideas.

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