The Iranian Threat: Iran's Confrontation With The United States And Pursuit Of Middle Eastern Hegemony

Date of Graduation

Spring 2006


Master of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies


Defense and Strategic Studies

Committee Chair

William Van Cleave


The Iranian threat is today one of America's greatest challenges to its national security. The purpose of this thesis is to examine how the Islamic Republic of Iran presents such a great threat to the United States and its interests, and examine what strategy should be employed to confront this challenge. The second chapter of this thesis examines Iran's ideology and principal objectives, and how these factors have set the Iranian regime against the United states; it also examines the military capabilitis of Iran, and how it has established a strategy to employ its capabilities in an asymmetrical manner. The third chapter examines Iran's role as a state sponsor of terror, and how it has established a network of terrorist proxies to confront the United States and its greatest Middle Eastern ally, Israel, indirectly. The fourth chapter examines Iran's establishment of global allies based on shared interests, particularly North Korea, Pakistan, China and Russia, which provide Tehran with the most lethal weapons and weapons technology in the world. The fifth chapter looks into Iran's pursuit of hegemonic status in the middle East, as well as Central Asia, through exerting its influence in these regions. The sixth chapter examines the different available options to confront this Iranian threat, including diplomacy, support for internal resistance movements, and military options. The recommendation of this thesis is that a military option is not only necessary, but inevitable, whether initiated by the United States, Israel, or Iran.


Iran, military, strategy, asymmetrical, nuclear, terrorism, hegemon, alliance, Middle East, Central Asia, United States, Ahmadinejad, diplomacy

Subject Categories

Defense and Security Studies


© Cameron S. Graham