Is Iran’s Grand Strategy Optimal?

Sam Wade, Roger Bradbury

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    We built an agent-based simulation model to explore Iran’s grand strategy in the context of its interactions with the United States and the other main strategic actors in Middle East affairs: UK, France, Germany, China, Russia, Israel and Saudi Arabia. We wished to explore the strategic options available to Iran and whether the options it chooses are optimal – that is whether Iran, as a relatively weak state, resorts to particular strategies because it must or because it chooses to. We found that Iran maximises its outcomes when it maximises the asymmetric elements of any conflict with the US. This, in fact, is Iran’s consistent strategic posture and, in that sense, its grand strategy is optimal. The implications for engaging in peace talks with Iran are grim: there are no feasible paths to de-escalation of tensions when Iran’s grand strategy of asymmetric conflict remains robustly optimal.
    Original languageEnglish
    Issue numberOnline
    Publication statusPublished - 2022

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