Sun, July 24, 2011 | The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center
Majles Research Center warns about NATO’s new strategy and its consequences for Iran
Last month the Majles Research Center published a report warning about the new strategy adopted by NATO in recent years and its consequences for Iran’s national security. The report goes into considerable detail about the various components of “NATO’s new strategy” and its effect on the security of the Islamic republic. In addition, the report includes recommendations aimed to help Iran better contend with NATO’s growing involvement near its borders.
The report covers six main aspects of NATO’s new strategy and its consequences for Iran:
1. The organization’s strategy on long-range missiles and nuclear weapons. The authors of the report note that NATO considers Iran’s nuclear program a threat to be addressed, arguing that the deployment of NATO’s missile protection system in Turkey and near Iran’s borders must be considered a serious threat to its security. The report discusses the increasing cooperation between NATO, the Persian Gulf states, and Russia to keep Iran in check with its nuclear program, a trend which, according to the authors, poses a challenge to Tehran.
2. The report discusses NATO’s growing presence on the political and economic scenes, which has consequences of its own for Iran’s security. The authors of the report specifically mention NATO’s presence in Afghanistan, arguing that the training of Afghan forces by NATO may entrench the organization’s influence near the borders of Iran even after the withdrawal of Western forces from Afghanistan, scheduled for 2014. The Majles Research Center suggests taking diplomatic measures and stepping up Iran’s cooperation with the countries in the region, particularly Iraq and Afghanistan, where NATO forces are stationed, to balance the organization’s growing influence. The authors of the report also suggest using PR and public diplomacy to expose “the true objectives” of the organization’s presence in the region.
3. The report warns about NATO’s efforts to expand its cooperation with the neighbors of Iran. According to the assessment of the Majles Research Center, the internal instability in pro-Western Arab countries may further deepen their relations with NATO, and Iran has to take action to prevent NATO from attaining its political objectives in the region.
4. The report discusses the U.S.’ pursuit of protecting its strategic energy interests through NATO’s military presence in the Persian Gulf and the Middle East. This presence, designed to serve U.S. interests, also poses a threat to Iran, which strives to have the security of the Persian Gulf be based on the countries of the region, without foreign involvement.
5. The report warns about the increasing cooperation between NATO and Persian Gulf states in such diverse fields as intelligence and technology exchange and military training. Iran has to further develop its ties with these countries and try to increase the cost of NATO’s presence in the region.
6. Another field addressed in the report is NATO’s growing cyber efforts. The report indicates that NATO’s cyber activities are on the rise, as are its efforts in cyber defense. The Majles Research Center suggests taking the necessary measures to increase Iran’s cyber presence and improve its ability to defend itself against such threats (Majles website, July 15).