“Dangerous but not omnipotent”

“Dangerous but not omnipotent”
May 19, 2009, Report by the RAND Corporation
     A report by the RAND Corporation argues that Iran’s expansionist rhetoric should not be taken at face value. According to the report, Iran’s regional strategy is based on: deterrence and national defense; developing retaliatory capability by supporting Islamist militant groups; and hedging against hostility from regional governments by gaining support from Arab populations.
     The report then outlines vulnerabilities in each area of this strategy, including the weakness of Iran’s conventional forces. Moreover, the report states that in the event of an attack on Iran, groups such as Hezbollah will prioritize their own self-interest over retaliating on Iran’s behalf. The report also points out that while Iran’s nuclear program in particular maintains widespread Arab support, Iran also continues to face strong criticism in Arab media.
     The report recommends that the US rely on increased multilateral pressure against Iran while improving bilateral ties in areas of common interest, such as stability in Iraq and Afghanistan. The report also calls for long-term efforts toward a multilateral regional security framework that includes Iran, Arab allies of the US, the EU, Russia and China.
RAND Corporation

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