A Review of Islamic Republic of Iran's National Security Discourse



Extended Abstract

This paper aims to analyze and review two security discourse existing in Islamic Republic so far: formative trend and reasons for its formation in Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI). The first debate receiving its theoretical themes from political thought of Islam, constitution and perspective of decision makers is known as revolutionary debate which presents a supranational and nation-based interpretation of a wide and Mustaz'af-oriented view regarding national security of IRI.
Security policy supervises the policies dominated over the trends of decision making in areas related to national security. From this perspective, areas of domestic and international policy and military, information, economic, managerial and even cultural and social arenas make established connection with the category of security policy. Accordingly, phenomenon of security and security policy making in different domestic and foreign perspectives and achieving it has always been among the basic goals of those countries in political life. Following sources of power, structure of government, geographical status and geopolitical qualities and type of ideology, all countries have made attempts to formulate their security policy and use it to gain multi-lateral security.
In this study, security is examined in the area of IRI security geography with two different trends (traditional and modern). In Iran, first, regarding political thought of Islam and constitution – based on nation-based and Dar al-Islamic thinking known as revolutionary debate – a supranational thinking of security formed. The attitude visualized theoretical structure and security decision makings of IRI for a decade is based on the necessity of Muslims unification, historical experiences and …. The imposed war (Iran-Iraq war), difficult economic status, geographical requirements, international threats of revolutionary debate and … lead to the rotation and return of security perspectives in the first approach toward the attitude of IRI's national realm. In this study, the period is introduced as national debate of IRI's security. In the end, results of two approaches are reviewed and reflected.

We used descriptive-analytical method, because by review and analysis of two opposing discourse (i.e. revolution-based approach [supranational interpretation of security] and realm-based approach) protecting the security of people and society equal the security of government. The study applies Fiqh resources including Shiite and Sunni in different periods, religious texts, political geography resources, international relationships and political sciences which review and pursue security categories. Also, it takes comparative method in a widely large scale. After the collection of the extensive resources of Fiqh and security and extraction of key points and ideas and categorization and arrangement of information, data analysis is conducted qualitatively so as to derive and introduce two traditional and modern approaches.

Results and Discussion
Supranational interpretation of security – which has dominated the security policy of the country after victory of Islamic Republic based on Dar al-Islamic (school-based) thinking – has had great effect on mentality and intellectual system and structure of the influential elites of IRI regarding security of nation and school; namely, in planning sublime goals of system security, the issue of revolutionary debate of security. And it had an exclusive role. This ideal quality of the officials of the revolution resulted in that the necessities of system are partially resolved and it rather seeks for realizing its truth. This section is aimed to explain IRI's realm-based security perspective.
The end of war (June 1988) can be considered as the beginning of a new period in security considerations of Iran. The war had reduced the ideals of the system out of national realm and consequently focused on the national considerations and its end led the gravity center of national policies into national geography. The period (as a beginning for political evolutions of the country) reduced the level of influence of ideological positions in national security considerations and instead positioned the status of national interests for Islamic nation interests so that the basis of foreign behavior and relationships of IRI also formed based on such an attitude.

Each country formulates its own security policies based on sources of power, structure of government, geographical status and geopolitical qualities and type of ideology. So, since early victory of Islamic Republic, revolutionary security and spread-based debate has been formed in Iran. Tribal and religious inconsistencies of Iran led to the issue that riots do not consider national images enough for domestic unification because tribal and religious crises made the leaders cautious in taking a national approach in security policies. War and its consequences reduced the areas of Islamic system ideals out of national realm and led the gravity center of national policies into national geography. Gradually, it brought about new debate in the arena of security policies (national debate). In this period, Iran adapted itself to iron geographical policy. From this section on, sustainable elements appeared more than before in foreign relationships of Iran and its security policy. Benefiting from geopolitical capabilities in new period was done with a motivation to help the development and expansion and again considered to be a type of assistant for macro goals of the system.