Blog #8 Terrorist Organizations and Weapons of Mass destruction

http://Al Qaeda’s Pursuit of Weapons of Mass Destruction


In 1998, al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden declared that acquiring and using weapons of mass destruction (WMD) was his Islamic duty — an integral part of his jihad. This declaration by the then most wanted man in the world sent chills down the spine of all western countries. Systemically, over the course of decades, he dispatched his top lieutenants to attempt to purchase or develop nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons of mass destruction (WMD). He never gave up on that goal; indeed, in 2007 he sent a video, where he repeated his promise to use weapons of mass destruction to change the global status quo, destroy the capitalist hegemony, and help create an Islamic caliphate. This acquisition program was handled at the very top of the echelons of the Al-Qaeda organization. For instance, Al-Qaeda deputy chief Ayman al-Zawahiri personally shepherded the group’s ultimately unsuccessful efforts to set off an anthrax attack in the United States.  Al-Qaeda concentrated its efforts on nuclear devices in the run-up to the September 11, 2001, attacks. Based on the timing and nature of its WMD-related activity in the 1990s, al Qaeda hoped to use such weapons in the United States during an intensified campaign following the 9/11 attacks. There is no indication that the fundamental objectives that lie behind its Weapons of Mass Destruction intent have changed over time. Even though the organization has lost a lot of support and resources do to the two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, they still pose a viable threat to the national security of the United States and its allies. But a further particular risk could become a major threat to Western societies. There is a very real – but not yet fully identified risk – of foreign fighters in ISIL’s ranks using chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) materials as “weapons of terror” against the West. there is another risk that often gets overlooked by the experts and by the public at large. that is the threat that this WMD’s pose to the security of Arabic countries as well. Hundreds of foreign fighters, some with solid academic and educational backgrounds and intellectual knowledge, have joined the cause and continue to do so every day. Furthermore, ISIL’s success is based on an effective media strategy of looking at the utmost possible “news effect” of their attacks. Together with their access to high levels of funding, these three elements bear the real risk of the group turning into practice what up to now has been largely a theoretical possibility: to actually employ weapons of mass destruction or CBRN material in terrorist attacks. The most likely targets for the deployment of CBRN’s could be countries in the middle-east. this would affect the world economy to unprecedented levels. This type of attack on Arabic countries or even Israel could launch further attacks by states bent on retaliation and protection, sparking further nuclear exchange.

In 2006 in the middle-east, the First Committee for Disarmament and International Security approved 12 draft texts aimed at strengthening regional disarmament measures and reducing the global threat of the use of nuclear and other mass destruction weapons. The Committee approved a draft on measures to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction. That draft would have the Assembly appeal to all Member States to consider signing and ratifying the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, in order to bring about its early entry into force and have the Assembly urge all Member States to strengthen national measures to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction.

I believe that at the present moment the terrorist organizations like Al-Qaeda and ISIS still have a vested interest in acquiring these weapons of mass destruction or even some material for a “dirty bomb.” the greatest impact or more damage that these groups could inflict on the west would be through the middle-east. tThey could achieve their political goal (according to their own mentality) of evicting Western influence from the Middle-East and creating a Caliphate that stretches from Spain to Afganistan. ISIS at the current moment has achieved territorial gained in Iraq and Syria without the use of such weapons so, we can only imagine the damage that these type of groups could do with such capabilities at hand. Furthermore, the extortion possibilities of such capability is immense.



Blog #7 Israels Weapons of Mass destruction Program

http://Israels WMD’s

http://Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal and Weapons of Mass Destruction: A Threat to World Peace

The British mandate of 1923 created the initial boundaries for the area that is now known as Israel, Palestine, and Jordan. A few years later Winston Churchill removed the Jordan territory from this mandate and created the boundaries for the modern state of Jordan. Between 1919 and 1923, 40,000 Jews arrived in Palestine, mainly escaping the post-revolutionary chaos of Russia, as over 100,000 Jews were massacred in this period in Ukraine and Russia. These few pioneers created a self-sufficient economy and community based on agriculture. Defense organizations like the underground Jewish militia, Haganah (“Defense”), was established to defend outlying Jewish settlements. Steady Jewish immigration followed for the next years although in relatively small numbers. This immigration and community development along with the defense force began to cause friction between the Jewish settlements and their Arab neighbors.

By the end of World War Two, Jewish refugees from Europe started to arrive in vast numbers in the Palestinian territory. This immigration was facilitated by the weak disposition of the British Empire. World War Two left the British and the French bankrupt and looking for an end for to their colonial ambitions and territorial possessions. By the late 1940’s the questioned of that was on all the international community was that of the Palestinian and Jewish problem. On 2 April 1947, the United Kingdom requested that the question of Palestine be handled by the General Assembly. The General Assembly created a committee, United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP), to report on “the question of Palestine”. In July 1947 the UNSCOP visited Palestine and met with Jewish and Zionist delegations. The Arab Higher Committee boycotted the meetings. During the visit the British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin ordered an illegal immigrant ship, the Exodus 1947, to be sent back to Europe. The migrants on the ship were forcibly removed by British troops at Hamburg.

The Israeli Declaration of Independence, formally the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel, was proclaimed on 14 May 1948 by David Ben-Gurion, the Executive Head of the World Zionist Organization and the chairman of the Jewish Agency for Palestine. It declared the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz-Israel, to be known as the State of Israel, which would come into effect on termination of the British Mandate at midnight that day. The United Nations had also set aside about half of the territory for Palestinians however, it was rejected by the Palestinians and the rest of the Arab world. This declaration cemented the discord and the anger between the Palestinians and the Jewish citizens of the new state of Israel. A conflict would soon follow in the first opening act of a long and bloody conflict, the Israeli-Arab Wars. The 1948 War for Independence, the Six Day War, and theYomm Kipor War all were the setting that lead to the development of Israels Weapons of Mass Destruction Program.

We all know that Israel possesses advanced conventional military capabilities and a large weapons industry along with generous support from the United States to support such capabilities. However, Israel for decades has maintained a policy of opacity regarding its WMD programs.   While experts generally agree that Israel possesses nuclear weapons, no such current open source consensus exists on the status of Israel’s offensive chemical or biological weapons programs. Israel also possesses a sizeable arsenal of short- and medium-range ballistic and cruise missiles and is working towards a multi-layered and comprehensive missile defense capability.  Furthermore, Israel is not a bound to any of the major treaties governing WMD nonproliferation, including the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), and the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC). It has signed, but not ratified, the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). However, Israel is considered a “unilateral adherent” to the MTCR and has recently adopted national export control regulations on chemical and biological materials consistent with Australia Group standards.Israel reportedly assembled its first nuclear devices in late May 1967 in the run-up to the Six-Day War. Based on some rough estimates of the plutonium production capacity of the Dimona reactor, Israel is believed to have manufactured around 840 kg of weapons-grade plutonium, enough for an estimated arsenal of 100 to 200 nuclear warheads.

So, how does all of this fit into the great skim of thing? Does Israel use its Nuclear arsenal to affect regional policy? Is Israel a threat to the security of the region because it has WMD’s?  Biological and chemical weapons are not part of the Israeli stockpile of WMD’s, according to some intelligence services such capabilities are not currently being seen as viable options for the Israeli government. However, there is evidence that at one point in its short history the State of Israel has considered such options.  Israel’s arsenal has been largely ignored by the major powers. Possessing extremely sophisticated nuclear arsenal, and an aggressive strategy for their actual use, Israel provides the major regional impetus for the development of weapons of mass destruction and represents an acute threat to peace and stability in the Middle East. This is partly to the new Iranian Nuclear program. the Iranians see the Israeli nuclear capability as a direct threat to their existence and vice versa.the Israelis see the development and possession of such weapons as a direct necessity for their own survival.  The Israeli’s currently enjoy the upper hand in a deterrent strategy do to the lack of an “Arabic Bomb.” My belief is that for this reason the further spread of WMD”s in the middle east is a threat to the security of the world and the United States.  We may be seeing the start of mass proliferation of these weapons in the middle east once Iran gets the “bomb.” The next logical regional power to strive for the “bomb” would be Saudi Arabia.

I believe that the major impact that Israel currently enjoys in regards to regional policy in regards to their nuclear program, is one of regional military supremacy. this impedes a direct military action on the part of Iran or its Arab neighbors. So, I believe that the strong democratic government on behalf of the Israelis along with a political realist attitude has maintained the peace. Israel’s string of victories against their Arab neighbors has traumatized the Arab world and lead more and more to seek a victory against Israel using militant tactics.


Blog #6 Syria uses Chemical weapons on its own population.

US: No doubt Syria used chemical weapons

Death by Chemical

The use of chemical weapons by Syrian in the Syrian Civil War that is currently in progress is one more example of the lengths that Dictators will go to maintain their control. Bashar al-Assad was born 11 September 1965) is the 19th and current President of Syria, holding the office since 17 July 2000. He is also commander-in-chief of the Syrian Armed Forces, General Secretary of the ruling Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party and Regional Secretary of the party’s branch in Syria. He is a son of Hafez al-Assad, who was President of Syria from 1971 to 2000. Raised in Damascus, Assad graduated from the medical school of Damascus University in 1988, and started to work as a doctor in the Syrian Army. Four years later, he attended postgraduate studies at the Western Eye Hospital in London, specializing in ophthalmology. In 1994, after his elder brother Bassel died in a car crash, Bashar was recalled to Syria to take over Bassel’s role as heir apparent. He entered the military academy, taking charge of the Syrian occupation of Lebanon in 1998. On 10 July 2000, Assad was elected as President, succeeding his father, who died in office a month prior. In the 2000 and subsequently in the 2007 election, he received 99% and 97% of the votes.  During the Arab spring, Bashar al-Assad commented that his country was stable and that he had the pulse of the people. however, not everything was as good as al-Assad portrayed it. The civic unrest began with small numbers of people asking for justice in punishing those responsible for a string of brutal tortures and deaths associated with al-Assad’s security services. The early protests and subsequent torture of those protesters by al-Assad’s security services set in motion a chain of events that catapulted the country to the current civil war.

According to certain sources that suggest that on April 4, 2017, a Syrian Airforce warplane attacked Khan Sheikhoun, a town in the northwestern sector of Idlib, with a nerve agent, killing at least 92 people, 30 of them children. The death toll likely makes this the deadliest chemical attack since an attack killed hundreds in Ghouta, near Damascus, in August 2013. The Khan Sheikhoun attack sparked international outrage, but the attack on Khan Sheikhoun was not the only recent chemical attack by the Syrian government. Three developments since late 2016 show that the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons has become widespread and systematic: Airforce bombers appear to have dropped bombs with nerve agents on at least four occasions since December 12, including in Khan Sheikhoun; The government’s use of helicopter-dropped chlorine-filled munitions has become more systematic; Government or pro-government ground forces have started using improvised ground-launched munitions containing chlorine. In at least some of the attacks, the intention appears to have been to inflict severe suffering on the civilian population, which would amount to crimes against humanity.

I have learned that once again when the rule of a tyrant is threatened, he or she will stop it nothing to ensure his or her survival. the death of so manny people at the hands of another middle-eastern dictator is but one more example of the region’s struggle for a stable political form of government.

Blog #5 Saddam Hussein uses Chemical Weapons against the Kurd’s.

Al-Anfal and the Genocide of Iraqi Kurds, 1988

Iran Still Haunted and Influenced By Chemical Weapons Attack

Saddam Hussein during his time in power was a cruel and calculating dictator who used force to secure his position and stamp out all opposition to his rule. In 1958, a coup d’état known as the 14 July Revolution led by the Brigadier General Abd al-Karim Qasim ousted and executed King Faysal II, Prince Abd al-Ilah, and Nuri al-Sa’id. Brigadier General Abd al-Sa’id was later overthrown by Colonel Abdul Salam Arif in a February 1963 coup.After his death in 1966, he was succeeded by his brother, Abdul Rahman Arif, who was overthrown by the Ba’ath Party in 1968. Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr became the first Ba’ath President of Iraq but then the movement gradually came under the control of General Saddam Hussein, who acceded to the presidency and control of the Revolutionary Command Council (RCC), then Iraq’s supreme executive body, in July 1979. this line of succession by military force created a state used to unstable government rule. By the time Saddam came to power the Iraqi people were ready for some stability. This need made it even easier for Saddam to consolidate his power and maintain it over time. The despot, known as Saddam, had oppressed Iraq for more than 30 years, unleashing devastating regional wars and reducing his once promising, oil-rich nation to a claustrophobic police state. During the decades that Saddam Hussein governed Iraq, joking about him or criticizing him in public could bring a death sentence. Saddam Hussein held onto the ethos of a village peasant who believed that the strongman was everything. He was trying to be a tribal leader on a grand scale. His rule was paramount and sustaining it was his main goal behind all the talk of developing Iraq by harnessing its considerable wealth and manpower. For this reason, he developed his Weapons of Mass Destruction Program (WMD’s). Fortunately, his Nuclear program never really got off the ground, do to the efforts of the Israelis and even the Iranians. However, his chemical and biological programs did prove to be successful.

During the Iran-Iraq War 1980-1988, Saddam used chemical weapons to eliminate what he saw as a threat to his power, that of the Kurds of northern Iraq. The Kurdish population has been a fiercely independent minority group within Iraq since the end of World War I. By the time of the Saddam Hussien regime, the Kurdish population was the fourth largest minority in the country. The Kurds also extended to the neighboring countries of Turkey, Iran, and Syria. This diversity and geographical expansion along with their wish for independence constituted a threat to Saddam Hussein’s ambitions for the region. Ali Hassan al-Majid, a cousin of Saddam and the Defense Minister, was delegated the task of vanquishing this perceived strategic liability, whereby he earned the notorious moniker, “Chemical Ali.” This brutal campaign that Saddam waged against the Kurds of northern Iraq, consisted of eight separate operations and lasted from February until September 1988, Throughout Saddam’s  rule, he dealt with perceived threats by unsettled the ranks of the Baath Party with bloody purges and packed his jails with political prisoners to defuse real or imagined plots. In one of his most brutal acts, he rained poison gas on the northern Kurdish village of Halabja in 1988, killing an estimated 5,000 of his own citizens suspected of being disloyal and wounding 10,000 more.

What I have learned from Saddam Hussein the former Iraqi Dictator registers on a cautionary side. It seems that since the end of World War I and the decolonization period, the middle- east has struggled to maintain and to develop political institutions that can handle the demands of the population. It also seems that the rise of men like Saddam in the middle-east is a byproduct of the lack of this political process to establish strong governments based on the respect and protection of the local population. Saddam like other dictators used a wide range of terror and actual weapons to control his people and to maintain his hold on power. Weapons of mass destruction constituted a terrible tool from which Saddam Hussein could exploit and kill his opposition and even wage war against his neighbors. I have also learned the awesome destructive power that can be unleashed by chemical and biological weapons, we seldom do not see such weapons as being compatible with atom or hydrogen bombs. However, the destructive potential of these weapons was demonstrated by the Saddam regime against a civilian population without regard for human life.

Blog #4 Libya’s nuclear ambitions and strategy

http://Libyan Nuclear Weapons

http://Why Libya Gave Up on the Bomb

Libya’s history with the acquisition of a Nuclear weapon was a matter of confusion. The desire of such an acquisition by the former leader of Libya Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi was one fraught with contradictions. Qaddafi shortly after the military coup in 1969 that overthrew King Idris I, began a period of sweeping social reform. The most prominent coup figure, Muammar Qaddafi was able to consolidate political power fully under his direction during the Libyan Cultural Revolution, remaining in power until the Libyan Civil War of 2011. during this time frame, Qaddafi had noble intentions, as believed by a large group of political historians and the consensus of his inner circle at the time. Qaddafi proclaimed that his government would pursue the development of any nuclear capabilities for civilian and especially military use. The development by Israel of nuclear technology had alarmed Qaddafi according to one report, Qaddafi sent, a high-ranking official to Beijing in an unsuccessful attempt to purchase tactical nuclear weapons. Nonetheless, by 1975 Qaddafi reaffirmed his commitment to the 1968 Treaty of Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, signed originally by the monarchy in 1968. Qadhafi also stated in interviews in 1981 and 1984 that Libya was only interested in the peaceful applications of nuclear energy, and he scoffed at the idea of “an Islamic bomb.” This type of miss-leading actions and statements lead to an uncertain status of nuclear power and weapons on Libyan soil.

Qaddafi’s rule began to show signs of autocratic rule. his secret police would round up any form of resistance to the “brother leader.” All political parties that were not part of the Free Officers Movement were outlawed. This suppressive regime lead to a lack of qualified individuals that could catapult the Libyan nuclear program or any type of infrastructure necessary for such ambitious development project.  Despite the lack of these resources and the signing of the non-proliferation treaty in the mid- and late 1970s, Qaddafi repeatedly proclaimed his country’s determination to acquire nuclear weapons. This was primarily in response reports that his arch-enemy Israel, had achieved such a military capability.

Nonetheless, by 1980 Libya began to build its nuclear infrastructure from various nuclear black market sources. The nuclear materials and expertise were provided by Swiss National, Friedrich Tinner. Tinner’s work on centrifuges took place at the Tajura Nuclear Research Facility (TNRF) aimed at producing nuclear material for uranium enrichment. This work was facilitated by Qaddafi’s oil revenue. However, Sanctions emplaced by the United States brought setbacks and Israeli intelligence services mounted a campaign of covert operations that further destabilized the program. The most successful weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs were those that involved chemical, and biological capabilities. however, even those programs saw limited development and usage, confined to terrorist organizations that were sponsored by Libya.

In conclusion, I have learned that Muammar Qaddafi was a walking contradiction. His wish for WMD’s catapulted him into a program that did not see total fruition. The Lack of qualified personnel and proper infrastructure within Libya as a result of the brutal practices of Qaddafi,  lead to a touch and go outcome with all his projects, especially those involving WMD. I learned that his quest for the “bomb” as with all other WMD’s was not entirely because of regional supremacy but for inner control of his own country. Of course, his status as a regional power would have increased if he would have ever developed such a “tool” for political gain. Qaddafi’s chemical arsenal became a better tool for suppression of any internal or external threat. However, there is no proof that he ever used such weapons against his own people (from what I know). Nevertheless, Qaddafi fits in the same category as Saddam and his quest for the “bomb,” nuclear capabilities have become part of any regime that searches for legitimacy and to maintain control over its population within the middle-east.


Blog #3 Iraq’s Nuclear Program and regional strategy

http://Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction

http://Iraq and Weapons of Mass Destruction

http://Thinking about Nuclear Power in Post-Saddam Iraq

Iraq has a long-standing weapons program that dealt with the development of weapons of mass destruction was a concerned of the United States and the regional powers of the middle-east. Iraq’s program started around the 1950’s shortly after the 1958 Iraqi coup d’état that took place on 14 July 1958, resulting in the overthrow of the Hashemite monarchy established by King Faisal I in 1921 under the auspices of the British. King Faisal II, Prince ‘Abd al-Ilah, and Prime Minister Nuri al-Said were executed during this coup. This coup laid the ideological foundations of Iraq that were to last until 2003, with Iraq becoming a de facto Arab nationalist and socialist one-party state. Under a nuclear co-operation agreement signed with the Soviet Union in 1959, a nuclear research center, equipped with a research reactor, was built at Tuwaitha, the main Iraqi nuclear research center. The Soviet government sold nuclear technology and expertise to the Iraqis in hopes of gaining more regional influence at the cost of the American lack of support for such a program. By the late 1970’s when Saddam Hussein took power in Iraq, the program was well under way, spurred on by a thriving oil-producing economy.

At this time Iraq had a driving Weapons of Mass destruction program that not just included nuclear proliferation but also chemical,  and biological programs. However, by 1980 Iraq invaded Iran and started an 8-year conflict which in turn decimated both nations economies. The war was a by-product of the Iranian revolution.Saddam Hussein was afraid that Iran’s Revolution would start a revolt among  Iraq’s long-suppressed Shi’ite majority. Border disputes and the wish of both nations for regional supremacy also contributed to this clash of arms. Iraq’s nuclear program was an effort to cement the Iraqi position as the pre-eminent power in the region.

This status as a dominant middle-eastern power was not just a matter of developing and having nuclear weapons, but also of having the modern civilian applications that go along with such development.  There was an emerging Iraqi consensus on the desirability of a peaceful nuclear program, with arguments supported by the expected benefits for electric power generation, agriculture, and medicine, as well as an eventual transition from oil. National pride was also a motivating factor, as nuclear power is viewed as an indicator of modernity and as proof of being able to keep up with regional and international powers.

To conclude, I have found out that the desire of Iraq under Saddam Hussein to develop and possess nuclear technology and capabilities was part of a dream of regional supremacy. The many flaws of the Iraqi government under Saddam Hussein prompted a rapid decline of its nuclear development program. This decline was also accelerated by the Israeli operation that destroyed the Iraqi reactor at Osirak. This site had been bombed by Iranian F-4 Phantom’s just after the outbreak of the Iran-Iraq war of 1979. However, it was the Israeli’s who prevailed and neutralized a potential threat to their national security as they saw it. This emphasis on neutralizing any nuclear capability by other nations proves that Iraq was seen as a clear and present danger to the region. the trend of Dictators of that region has always been to pursue such nuclear capabilities along with other weapons of mass destruction in a process of power aquacition and manipulation of regional strategy.



Blog #2 The Iranian Nuclear Program

Iran’s Nuclear Program

Middle East Stability and the International Agreement on Iran’s Nuclear Program

Iranian Nuclear Aspirations and Strategic Balancing in the Middle East

Venter, Al J. Irans nuclear option: Tehran’s quest for the atom bomb. Philadelphia: Casemate Publ., 2005.

It is a hard proposition to not see Iran as being a threat to regional and world peace as a nuclear-capable nation. the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction is always an issue that affects the entire world.  the middle-east remains to this day a fragmented and dangerous region. the Iranian Government sees Israel, The United Staes, Arabia, and Bahrain to mention but a few, as direct threats to the national security and interests of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The latest effort to curve the Iranian nuclear program is The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA. this agreement between Iran and the United States, Russia, and other European countries aims at the limitation and stalling of the Iranian Nuclear Program. This agreement has set a goal of 10 to 15-year delay of the Iranian acquisition of a Nuclear weapon. However, this plan must also be reinforced by an array of diplomatic, economic, and military tools by the United States and her allies.


The aftermath of the Arab Spring has left a power vacuum that pits opposing Middle-Eastern leaders, ideologies, and interests against each other. This competition is spearheaded by an array of diplomatic, direct and covert military, intelligence and monetary support. the ultimate price is total regional dominance and influence. However, the use of all of these tools in conjunction with the arming of nonstate regional groups vying for power has weakened current states such as Syria, Iraq, and Egypt. The current covert confrontation between Iran and Saudi Arabi has sent ripples throughout the middle-east. The fear of a nuclear arm Iran could send the Saudi Government into a Nuclear development program of their own. That would dramatically change the power structure of the area and could possibly catapult a new nuclear arms race in the region. However, the Iranian nuclear program can actually be traced back to the 1950s. This program was initiated as part of U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Atoms for Peace initiative. at the time the Iranian march to democracy was firm and on its way. Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh was the driving force behind this movement. Until Mosaddegh declared the Nationalisation of the oil industry the United States supported the Tehran nuclear research program. the first nuclear reactor was declared operational as long ago as 1967. U.S. and Western European support for Iran’s development of civilian nuclear technology continued until the Islamic revolution of 1979. so, the development of the Iranian Nuclear Program was far from a solo activity. It was sponsored by the United States and the West until the Iranian Revolution.

In reflection, the Iranian Nuclear program has become a necessity for the Iranian Government. the regional power struggle has been a direct byproduct of the Arab Spring and the U.S. intervention in Iraq. Saudi Arabia and other Middle-Eastern countries could become involved in an arms race where nuclear weapons could become the main price. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) has emplaced restrictions on  Iran’s ability to produce a nuclear weapon in the next 10 to 15 years. U.S. policy in the region must also include independent action on all levels of political, economic and military options in order to enforce the JCPOA sanctions. Finally,  Iran has been emboldened in its meddling in Middle Eastern geopolitical affairs by its perceived or real nuclear capabilities.






Blog#1 Iran’s Regional Strategy

Iran’s Regional Strategy

The rise of Iran as a regional power

How sanctions and the Arab Spring helped Iran

Since the overthrow of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in 1979, the Islamic Republic of Iran has embarked on a program of regional dominance and global relevance. In order to effectively accomplish this mission the new Iranian state needed to export their brand of government based on Shia ideology. the Shah’s ascended to power with the backing of the post- World War II status quo. In 1951, Mohammad Mosaddegh was appointed as the prime minister. He became enormously popular in Iran after he nationalized Iran’s petroleum industry and oil reserves. however, this was a threat to the regional interests of the United States. So, he was overthrown and sparked a long distrust of U.S. motives within Iranian politics and a perceived threat that the United States possess. this perception whether founded or unfounded has catapulted a growing desire on the behalf of the Iranian government for survival. The only way that the Iranian regime sees as being able to stop the United States current regional power and threat to its very existence is by an aggressive regional policy and the development of nuclear capabilities.

The Iranian government has been involved in regional wars by proxy participation almost right after 1979. Hezbollah during the guerrilla war in southern Lebanon during the Lebanese Civil War is one prime example of such a regional Iranian policy. Hezbollah was supplied and trained by Iranian security and Intelligence agencies in order to combat the regional interests of the West and Israel in particular.  This involvement by Iran and the intervention into the Iraq War of 2003 has cemented the Iranian Government as a threat to American policy for the region.

The Arab Spring and the U.S. Intervention in Iraq have only served to strengthen the resolve and the regional covert Iranian activity in the middle-east, by the destabilization of the region. This has also lead to the Iranian people becoming more supportive of their government. this support is based on ongoing economic sanctions and the frightful consequences of the Arab Spring in regards to the loss of life and destabilizing affect of the movement.

In reflection, the motive for Iranian regional policy based on perceived threats real or otherwise and the affect of the Arab Spring has been a most productive chain of events from which the Iranian Government has benefited. Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, sought to export its ideology abroad. Furthermore,  the Iranian Government has provided logistical assistance to Hezbollah and other such groups. Economic Sanctions, U.S. Intervention in Iraq, and the Arab Spring have strengthened Iranian influence in the area and its grip on the Iranian people.