Document Type : Research Paper


Assistant Professor of West Asian & African Studies, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


Studies on securitization theory have neglected the fact that securitization is in place only when it is proven that expression of fear is insincere. A number of indicators can be retrieved from the literature on deception detection in social sciences to verify sincerity in fear expressions by political leaders. Application of these indicators in this paper demonstrates that former Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu’s expression of fear from Iran in his speech at the United Nations General Assembly in 2014, was more a case of constructing an existential threat, than expressing genuine apprehensions. A complete examination of Netanyahu’s claims about Iran establishes their contradiction with the known realities. The inconsistency between truth and Netanyahu’s goals, the knowledge available about Netanyahu’s negative beliefs about Iran,  the implausibility of some of his assertions, their judgmental nature, as well as the disclosure of their incorrectness over time all support the idea that Netanyahu was insincere in his expression of fear from Iran in this particular case, and that he was constructing an existential threat about Iran in the midst of negotiations to reach a nuclear deal with Iran, which he vehemently opposed.


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