Iran: an Emerging Military Threat to U.S. National Interests in the Middle East

Date of Graduation

Spring 1994


Master of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies


Defense and Strategic Studies

Committee Chair

William Van Cleave


Six years after emerging from its war with Iraq, battered militarily and weakened strategically, Iran appears intent on reestablishing itself as a major regional military power. To reach this goal, the current government of Iran has embarked on a massive program of remilitarization that includes a major buildup of the country's conventional forces and efforts both to build and to purchase unconventional weapons and long range delivery means. This thesis examines the components of the Iranian buildup in detail to establish that the scope and pace of this armament effort, together with an aggressive national leadership fired by both Islamic fundamentalist and Persian nationalist ambitions, are making Iran the new threat to regional security in the Persian Gulf and a likely challenge to U.S. national interests. In response to this potential threat, the United States has, to date, pursued policies characterized by inconsistency, a limited range of actions, and limited effectiveness. To counter this potential challenge to American interests more effectively, additional policy measures will be required. These include a number of defensive, and possibly even offensive actions.

Subject Categories

Defense and Security Studies


© Philip M Collins