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Defending Iran


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Table of Contents

Preface; 1. Iran's Threat Perceptions; 2. Defense Institutions: Politics and Power; 3. Iran's Military-industrial Complex; 4. Structure and Make-up of Iran's Armed Forces; 5. Iran's Ballistic Missiles and Space Program; 6. Cyber Security: Iran and Its Neighbors; 7. Naval Forces; 8. Iran's Drone Capabilities; 9. Proxies and Partners; Conclusion: The Way Forward.

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An authoritative analysis of Iran's defense doctrine and security policies set within the context of security and political relations in the Middle East.

About the Author

Gawdat Bahgat is Professor of National Security in the Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies at the National Defense University. He is the author of twelve books including Energy Security in the Gulf (2015), Alternative Energy in the Middle East (2013), Energy Security (2011), International Political Economy (2010), Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in the Middle East (2007), Israel and the Persian Gulf (2006) and American Oil Diplomacy (2003). He has appeared as a frequent contributor to media outlets including the BBC, CNN and Washington Post. Anoushiravan Ehteshami is Professor of International Relations in the School of Government and International Affairs at Durham University. The Nasser al-Mohammad al-Sabah Chair in International Relations and Director of the HH Sheikh Nasser al-Mohammad al-Sabah Programme in International Relations, Regional Politics and Security, he is, further, Director of the Institute for Middle Eastern & Islamic Studies (IMEIS) at Durham, a Fellow of University College Durham, a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He is the co-author of publications including Islam, IS and the Fragmented State: The Challenges of Political Islam in the MENA Region (2021), How China is Changing the Middle East (2020), and author of Iran: Stuck in Transition (2017).


'Defending Iran provides a first-class assessment of Iran's defense doctrines, motivations, and capabilities. In doing so, it deftly highlights the opportunities and constraints that the Islamic Republic confronts in its effort to establish its dominance in the Persian Gulf - and underscores the challenges that the United States and others face in seeking to foil that ambition.' James M. Lindsay, Council on Foreign Relations
'This is a book of impressive scope and depth, providing one of the most valuable and insightful examinations of the Iranian military and its capabilities. Defending Iran is essential reading for anyone seeking a thorough understanding of the country's politics and the role, composition, and profile of its armed forces.' Mehran Kamrava, Georgetown University Qatar
'Gawdat Baghat and Anoushiravan Ehteshami, two well-respected experts, have produced an important and insightful analysis of Iran's defense and security doctrine tracing its evolution from pre-revolutionary days to the current context deftly weaving together the nexus of ideology, threat perceptions and national interests amid the changing strategic international and regional landscape.' Sanam Vakil, Chatham House

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