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Iranian Perspectives of Strategic Stability and Their Nuclear Program Decision Making


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This paper examines Irans perspective of its strategic stability and the national interest and objectives that guide their nuclear program decision making. This paper also explores the various factors that shape Irans view of itself, its neighbors, and others around the globe. An understanding of Iranian strategic stability perspectives will allow the United States to better develop and execute strategy to achieve its desired political end states. A key component of Iranian strategic stability involves the notion of strategic security. Irans nuclear program is a key component of its strategic security. Irans acceptance of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, also known as the Iranian Nuclear Deal, reveals much regarding Irans nuclear program decision making, prioritization of national interest and perspectives relative to strategic stability. An examination of Iranian perceptions of strategic stability led to the conclusion that Iranian strategic stability revolves around three national interest. The national interests/concerns that influence Iranian strategic stability are; 1) strategic security (i.e. threats from external actors), 2) autonomy (i.e maintaining the existing leadership and system of governance), and 3) economic security. These national interests serve as the foundation for Iranian perspectives of strategic stability. Additionally, United States national security concerns relative to Iran are identified and compared with the national interests and/or strategic stability concerns of Iran. Finally, this paper provides recommendations focused on improved diplomatic efforts and the use of a whole-of-government approach in order to better address and solve United States national security concerns regarding Iran.



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