Document Type : Research Paper


Assocaite Professor; Department of Political Sciences, University of Tehran, Iran


The main objective of this study is to identify Israel’s security threats (especially the military threat posed by its nuclear weapons program), to assess the impact of these threats on regional security environment of the Middle East, and to recommend the formulation of strategies for coping with these threats. The main research questions are as follows: 1. What is the strategic vision and the principles of Israel's national security policies? 2. What are the characteristics of Israel's main security threats for the Middle East and in particular for the Islamic Republic of Iran? 3. What defense policies should the regional states formulate in order to eliminate these threats? The main conclusion is that Israel’s security policies pose threats to the Middle East, but Netanyahu’s government will not achieve its strategic goals due to reasons such as accumulative economic vulnerabilities caused by militarization, dependence on extra-regional powers, internal  socio-economic and political conflicts, augmented political role and activities of armed terrorist groups in the region, and ultimately the demise of unpopular and authoritarian governments in the Middle East. At a time when the Middle Eastern balance of power is changing in favor of governments, leaders and people who support freedom, democracy and socio-economic justice, inefficient policies of the advocates of militarism, aggression and warmongering will not succeed.


  1. لطفیان، سعیده (1387). «اسرائیل در مناطق پیرامون ایران،» در محیط امنیتی پیرامون جمهوری اسلامی ایران (مجموعه مقالات). تهران: پژوهشکدۀ مطالعات راهبردی، ص 212-183.

    ------------ (1378). «سیاست­های امنیت ملی اسرائیل: فرضیه‌ها و تحلیل‌ها،» فصلنامۀ مطالعات خاورمیانه، ش 1، بهار ص 98ـ37.

    1. Adensamer, Rupert. (2008). The Impact of the Yom Kippur War on Israel’s Foreign Policy and Defense Doctrine. MA Thesis, University of Vienna.
    2. Abu Amer, Ahmad. "Will Hamas respond to Israel's destruction of its tunnels?" Al Monitor, 9May 2016. Retrieved from
    3. Axe, David. "Israel's 'Custom' F-35 Stealth Fighter: A Lethal, High-Tech Wonder Weapon?" National Interest, 4 May 2016. Available at:
    4. Bar-Joseph, Uri. (2004-5, Winter). “The Paradox of Israeli Power,” Survival, 46, 4: 137–156.
    5. Barnett, Michael. (1990, July). “High Politics is Low Politics: The Domestic and Systemic Sources of Israeli Security Policy, 1967-1977,” World Politics, 42, 4: 529-562.
    6. Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies. (2011, November 23). BESA Center Experts Say: Iran is an Intolerable Threat; Arab Spring Not Resulting in Democracy. Summary of Remarks at the BESA Center Conference on "Israeli Security in a New Regional Environment". Retrieved from details.cfm?PublicationID=13740
    7. Betts, Richard K. (1982). Surprise Attack: Lessons for Defense Planning. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution.
    8. “Bin Laden's Iranian Connection,” (2001, November 29). Washington Times. Retrieved from
    9. Burgess, Ronald L., Director of Defense Intelligence Agency. (2012, February 16). Annual Threat Assessment. Statement before the Senate Armed Service Committee, United States Senate. Retrieved from
    10. Burton, John, ed. (1990). Conflict: Human Needs Theory. New York: St. Martin’s Press.
    11. Fulton, Will. (2013, March 20). “Iran's Global Force Projection Network: IRGC Quds Force and Lebanese Hezbollah,” Retrieved from
    12. Gray, Colin S. (2010). “Gaining Compliance: The Theory of Deterrence and its Modern Application,” Comparative Strategy, 29, 3: 278-283.
    13. Gill, Peter. (2012, April). “Intelligence, Threat, Risk and the Challenge of Oversight,” Intelligence and National Security, 27, 2: 206-222.
    14. Harel, Amos. (2013, 13 May). "Israel's Defense Budget cut for now, but will increase over Long Term," Haaretz. Retrieved from
    15. He, Kai. (2012). “Undermining Adversaries: Unipolarity, Threat Perception, and Negative Balancing Strategies after the Cold War,” Security Studies, 21, 2: 154-191.
    16. Herrmann, Richard. (1986, November). “The Power of Perceptions in Foreign-Policy Decision Making: Do Views of the Soviet Union Determine the Policy Choices of American Leaders?” American Journal of Political Science, 30, 4: 841-875.
    17. Huth, Paul and Bruce Russett. (1984, July). "What Makes Deterrence Work? Cases from 1900 to 1980," World Politics, 36: 4, 496-526.
    18. Inbar, Efraim. (1998, January). “Israeli National Security, 1973-96,” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 555: 62-81.
    19. “Iran, Syria and bin Laden,” (2001, November 29). Washington Times.
    20. "Israel Grapples with Slashing Military Budget," (2014, June 1). Al Jazeerah. Retrieved from
    21. “Israel Warns US not to Ignore Iran in Terrorism War,” (2001, November 7). IranMania News.
    22. Jervis, Robert. (2006, October). “Understanding Beliefs,” Political Psychology, 27, 5: 641-663.
    23. Jervis, Robert. (1988, Spring). “War and Misperception,” Journal of Interdisciplinary History, 18, 4: 675-700.
    24. LaFree, Gary and Laura Dugan. (2007). “Introducing the Global Terrorism Database,” Terrorism and Political Violence, 19:181–204.
    25. Malka, Amos. (2008). “Israel and Asymmetrical Deterrence,” Comparative Strategy, 27, 1: 1-19.
    26. McGirk, Tim. (2002, February 2). “Did Iran Help al-Qaeda Escape,” Time.Retrieved from,8816,198857,00.html/
    27. Merom, Gil. (1999, Autumn). “Israel's National Security and the Myth of Exceptionalism,” Political Science Quarterly, 114, 3: 409-434.
    28. Michaud, Paul. (2002, February 2). “Israeli Intelligence Misled Bush on Iran,” Dawn, Retrieved from
    29. Myre, Greg. (2001, September 25). “Israel: Anti-Terror Coalition should Target Iran, Syria,” Jerusalem Post.
    30. “Netanyahu Rival Blasts his "Obsession" with Iran,” (2012, November 1). Reuters. Retrieved from
    31. Opall-Rome, Barbara. (2000, August 28). “Israel Navy Completes Submarine Modernization Program,” Defense News.
    32. Parker, Serena. (2001, Septmebr 23). “Argentina Jewish Center Bombing Trial Begins,” Jerusalem Post. Retrieved from < /2001/09/23/ LatestNews/LatestNews.33138.html>
    33. Pedatzur, Reuven. (2012, 22 February). "IDF using scare tactics in budget battle," Haaretz.
    34. Ravid, Barak. (2009, November 5). “Netanyahu: Iran's Shipment of Arms to Hezbollah- A War Crime,” Haaretz Daily. Retrieved from
    35. Raviv, Dan and Yossi Melman. (2012). Spies against Armageddon: Inside Israel's Secret Wars. New York: Levan Books.
    36. Rosenhek, Zeev; Daniel Maman, & Eyal Ben-Ari. (2003, August). “The Study of War and the Military in Israel: An Empirical Investigation and a Reflective Critique,” International Journal of Middle East Studies, 35, 3: 461-484.
    37. Rotella, Sebastian. (2008, May 4). “Hezbollah's Stockpile Bigger, Deadlier: Western Officials Allege Iran and Syria Funnel Arms into Lebanon,” Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from
    38. Salhani, Claude. (2009, January 25)."Israel’s New Military Doctrine," Khaleej Time. Retrieved from
    39. Schelling, Thomas C. (1960). The Strategy of Conflict. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
    40. Sechser, Todd S. (2011). “Militarized Compellent Threats, 1918-2001,” Conflict Management and Peace Science, 28, 4: 377–401.
    41. Spiegel, Steven. (1985). The other Arab-Israeli conflict: Making America's Middle East Policy, from Truman to Reagan. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, pp. 381-93; as cited by Richard Herrmann, 1986.
    42. Spyer, Jonathan. (2008, September). “Israel in the Middle East: Threats and Countermeasures,” International Relations, 22, 3: 349-352.
    43. Snyder, Jack. (1991). Myths of Empire: Domestic Politics and International ambition. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press; as cited by Merom, 1999.
    44. Trofimov, Yaroslav. "Israel’s Main Concern in Syria: Iran, not ISIS," Wall Street Journal, 7 March 2016. Available at <>
    45. U.S. Department of State. (2001, April). Patterns of Global Terrorism, Washington DC: US DOS.
    46. U.S. Department of State. (2012, July 31). “Chapter 2. Country Reports: Middle East and North Africa Overview,” in Country Reports on Terrorism, 2011. Washington DC: US Department of State. Retrieved from
    47. Weinthal, Benjamin. (2012, March 7). "Bibi, the Begin Doctrine, and the U.S.," National Review Online. Retrieved from
    48. Williams, Dan. (2014, May 9). Reuters, "Budget-strapped Israeli Military Banks on Future US Aid." Retrieved from
    49. World Bank, the. (2013). World Development Indicators. Retrieved from