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Title: Iran and Israel's national security in the aftermath of 2003 regime change in Iraq
Author: Alothaimin, Ibrahim Abdulrahman I.
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2012
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Following the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, Iran has continued to pose a serious security threat to Israel. The US initially occupied Iraq, ultimately overthrowing Saddam Hussein’s regime, in the belief that it would be able to replace that government with a pro-American administration which would counteract the threat from Iran. Instead, the balance of power in the Gulf region was radically altered and Iran, which saw Iraq as its first line of defence against the increasing threat from Israel, sought ways to prevent the US from taking control of Iraq. This failure by the US to stabilise Iraq paved the way for Iran to expand its influence over the region and altered the ‘balance of threat’ making it an actual threat to Israeli national security. This led Iran, as part of its deterrence and forward-deployment strategy, to initiate a cold war with Israel by accelerating its nuclear programme and its support, both financial and military, of Hezbollah In order to explain any changes to Israel’s stance on security since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, this study examines that country’s national security policy since the invasion, looking at the perceived threat from Iran, in the form of its nuclear capabilities, and its forward defence strategy. This study suggests that the US was so focussed on implementing regime change in Iraq, in the belief that this would instigate the introduction of democracy to the region, that it failed to foresee the wider geopolitical implications of the power vacuum which would occur. The result was that the way was left clear for Iran to exercise its influence over the region and to alter the balance of threat against Israel. This study argues that, in order to better understand Israel’s new security status, it is essential to explore the Iranian threat, which is characterised by its development of nuclear capabilities and the forward defence structure which can be seen in Tehran’s alliance with Syria and Hezbollah.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available