The Authoritarian Resurgence: Iran Abroad

Issue Date April 2015
Volume 26
Issue 2
Page Numbers 61-70
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The Islamist authorities in Tehran are committed to a two-pronged strategy: political survival at home and forming convenient international partnerships abroad. In recent years, the pursuit of these two goals have increasingly overlapped. In its attempts to veil its appalling human rights record, Tehran looks for diplomatic support from likeminded states such as Russia, China, Belarus and Cuba. Meanwhile, Tehran is increasingly dependent on these very same states for technology and repressive techniques to stifle political opposition that operates in cyberspace. The same spirit of cooperation is also evident in Iranian efforts to propagate an antidemocratic message though international broadcasting. These efforts by Tehran require heavy investments, a clear indication that the Iranian state is committed to a long-term strategy of challenging conventional international standards on human and political rights.

About the Author

Alex Vatanka, senior fellow at the Middle East Institute in Washington, D.C., specializes in Middle Eastern affairs, focusing particularly on Iran. He was previously the editor of Jane’s Islamic Affairs Analyst.

View all work by Alex Vatanka