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A report on Iran’s Foreign and Defense Policies

By INU Staff

INU- A report on Iran’s Foreign and Defense Policies, which was released by the Congressional Research Service on October 9, explains that Iran’s national security policy is the product of several overlapping (and occasionally competing) factors, including the ideology of the Iranian Regime, Iran's long-standing national interests, the perception of threats to the regime and/or the country, and interaction between Iran’s factions and constituencies.

The report advises that the Iranian Regime is terrified of regime change, the true wish of the Iranian people, which is they seek to deter or thwart any efforts to bring about that change. However, the Regime’s leaders rarely agree on anything, as they are little more than several warring factions all fighting for power.

The Iranian Regime seeks to restore a sense of “greatness” that is reminiscent of the Persian empire, which is one of the reasons that they seek to support terrorist groups (i.e. Lebanese Hezbollah, Yemeni Houthis, Iraqi Shiite militias, and Bahraini militant groups) and intervene in regional conflicts (i.e. the Yemen civil war and the Syrian civil war). It promotes the destabilisation of a country or region, which allows the Iranian Regime to take control.

Another reason for Iran's malign interference is that it distracts the rest of the world from the crises plaguing Iran (i.e. the Iranian people’s uprising, the collapse of the economy, and the environmental disasters that the Regime is doing nothing to solve).
The report also notes that the Iranian Regime sought to use the sanctions relief granted under the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), more commonly known as the nuclear deal, to buy weapons, rather than feed their people. It is clear where their priorities lie.

In May, the US pulled out of the Iran deal and announced the reimposition of sanctions of the Regime, citing that the JCPOA failed to deal with Iran’s “malign activities”.

This is part of the wider Iran policy that is aimed at getting a stricter deal on Iran, which would address issues raised in the September report by the US government, entitled (“Outlaw Regime: A Chronicle of Iran’s Destructive Activities”. The report detailed numerous activities that the US termed “Iranian regime’s destructive behaviour at home and road.”

That wider policy includes working with allies and partners in the region, as noted in an August 2018 report to Congress; a report that was mandated by the Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act.

While some senior US officials have indirectly threatened military action if Iran poses an immediate threat to US interests or allies.

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