“I Don’t Bluff”

Suppose the president never intended to roll back Iran’s nuclear program. How then would he proceed?
Photo courtesy Flickr/pennstatenews.
Photo courtesy Flickr/pennstatenews.
Observation
Feb. 6 2014
About the author

Michael Doran, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and the author of Ike’s Gamble: America’s Rise to Dominance in the Middle East (2016), is a former deputy assistant secretary of defense and a former senior director of the National Security Council. He tweets @doranimated.


President Obama has repeatedly promised to do whatever it takes to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear bomb. If there is no other choice, he says, he will resort to force. In a March 2012 interview with Jeffrey Goldberg, the president famously rejected the alternative policy, namely, allowing Iran to go nuclear and then trying to contain it. He emphasized the point dramatically: “[A]s president of the United States,” he said, “I don’t bluff.”

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More about: Barack Obama, Bashar al-Assad, bluff, bomb, Foreign Policy, Iran