Iran’s Own ‘War on Terror’: Iranian Foreign Policy Towards Syria and Iraq During the Rouhani Era
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The lightning advances of the so-called Islamic State group across Syria and Iraq during 2014 prompted Iran’s biggest military engagement since the Iran–Iraq war. As both states became theatres of conflict, Iran sought to defend its allies against the extremist threat posed by what it refers to as ‘takfiri’ groups, such as the Islamic State group and al-Qaeda, something seen as a direct threat to its own national security. As a result, the Islamic Republic saw its engagements in Syria and Iraq as part of its own ‘war on terror’. This chapter outlines Iran’s role in both states during Rouhani’s first term in office, highlighting the occasional religious overlay, or justification, that characterised Iran’s military engagements during this period.
KeywordsIraq Syria Iran foreign policy War on terror National security
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