by Ariel Ben Solomon
April 11, 2014
Despite Tehran’s efforts to export its Islamic revolutionary ideology, history shows lack of follow-through.
A general view of the Arak heavy-water project, 190 km southwest of Tehran January 15, 2011. Photo: Reuters
The Iranian regime is cautious about using its military capabilities because they do not match its ambitions, a new study says.
Despite Tehran’s efforts to export its Islamic revolutionary ideology, history shows that the lack of following through with its belligerent rhetoric “is due as much to experience as to realism about its own limits,” according to Shahram Chubin.
Chubin is a nonresident senior associate at the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace organization and the former director of studies at the Geneva Center for Security Policy.
“But where Iran excels is in the more subtle areas of indirect diplomacy, menace and intrigue,” he said.
For example, Chubin told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday that regarding the war in Syria, “Iran started slowly and then found it was pushing against an open door and stepped up its activities once it saw that the US would not react.”
In the article, titled “Is Iran a Military Threat?” and published in theSurvival: Global Politics and Strategy journal, Chubin stated that Iran had little war experience in the past 150 years, until the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War, which it helped provoke but did not start.
Iran has no strong military tradition and has focused on internal security and stability, he argued.
“Tehran underestimated the nationalism of Iraqi Shi’ites and overestimated the Iranian people’s willingness to sacrifice,” he said of the Iran-Iraq War.
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