Hybrid Iran: the Islamic Republic between nuclear aspirations and hybrid war
Longarzo, Fabrizio (2020) Hybrid Iran: the Islamic Republic between nuclear aspirations and hybrid war. Tesi di Dottorato, Università degli Studi di Napoli L'Orientale.
The search for an interpretative paradigm to analyse the Iranian security policies is of paramount importance. As one of the main actors in the Middle East, especially after Saddam's fall and the Syrian civil war, Teheran will play a central role in shaping the region in the next decades. This thesis will explain Teheran's strategic approach using hybrid warfare as an interpretative lens. The use of hybrid warfare as the main theory will help to analyse the whole Iranian strategic patter thoroughly, drawing a complete picture of Teheran's strategic culture in the new millennium. The analysis will start with a historical retrospective of Iranian foreign policies and with an analysis of the Iranian nuclear crisis to then introduce a case studies model. Using three case studies (the Iranian nuclear program from 2003 to 2016, the Iranian intervention in Iraq and the Iranian intervention in Syria) the thesis found a series of empirical regularities in the Iranian operations, showing how the Iranian pragmatic approach managed to overcome the conventional asymmetries faced by the Islamic Republic. Thanks to hybrid tactics Teheran obtained a series of important long term goals without rising the confrontation level and with limited use of resources. The ratification of the JCPOA, a status of nuclear hedging and the extensive influence gained in the new Iraqi government is the main victories obtained by Teheran with its hybrid approach and represent a test for further application of hybrid warfare in the future.
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