Article 184: Political manoeuvres are necessary in foreign policy, and the effectiveness of these manoeuvres is dependent on concealing (your) aims and disclosing (your) acts.
This article is from the permitted issues left to the opinion and Ijtihad of the Imam, and the political manoeuvres are the actions which are undertaken by the State which are intended for goals other than the goals which are apparent from the action undertaken. The Prophet used to carry out these manoeuvres, such as the expeditions which he carried out at the end of the first and beginning of the second year Hijri, as the apparent goal of these expeditions was that the Messenger wanted to attack the Quraysh, but the reality behind them was to intimidate the Quraysh and make the other Arab tribes take a neutral position regarding the conflict between him and the Quraysh. The evidence for that is that these expeditions were small in number - sixty, or two hundred, or three hundred - which is not large enough to fight the Quraysh, and he did not fight the Quraysh in any of them. All that resulted from them was that he concluded treaties with some of the Arab tribes, such as his alliance with Damra and concluding friendly relations with Bani Mudlej. Another example is his trip to Makkah in the sixth Hijri year intending to perform the pilgrimage, and his announcing that while there was a state of war between him and the Quraysh under whose authority the Ka’bah was at that time. The intention of that journey was to arrive at an armistice treaty with the Quraysh in order to deal with Khaybar, since it had reached him that Khaybar and the Quraysh were negotiating an agreement to attack Madinah. The evidence for this being a political manoeuvre is that he was pleased to return without having completed the pilgrimage once he had achieved the treaty, and he then attacked and dealt with Khaybar two weeks after his return. All of these are political manoeuvres. The power of these manoeuvres are the actions which are undertaken, such as that the manoeuvre is announced and apparent, but the goals of it are hidden, and so its effectiveness is dependent upon the prominence of the action and the concealment of the goals.