Backgrounder: Iran Power Projection in Wartime

cc Tasnim News Agency, modified,

Iran’s relationship with both the United States and Israel has long been marked by hostility. Iranian leaders have frequently called for the destruction of the Jewish state, while the chant of “Death to America” has become emblematic of anti-American sentiment in Iran. The animosity between the United States and Iran dates back to the 1953 coup, orchestrated by the CIA, which toppled Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh and installed Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who ruled until the Islamic Revolution of 1979. During this revolution, supporters of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini seized the US embassy in Tehran, holding American diplomats hostage for 444 days. The following year, the United States supported Iraq in its war against Iran. Since then, Iran-backed proxies have launched numerous attacks against both the United States and Israel. The specter of war has loomed large, with Iran often engaging in provocations against both nations, while careful to incite and harass without triggering a full-scale war.

Since the April 2024 Iranian missile attacks on Israel, war between Iran and Israel, and possibly the United States, has become more likely. This report will analyze Iran’s ability to wage war under the PMED approach, which gauges power across the domains of politics, military, economy, and diplomacy.



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