Iran’s Contemporary Anti-Terrorism Approach: “Hard” and “Soft” Elements

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Abstract


The article deals with “hard” and “soft” elements of Iran’s contemporary anti-terrorism approach. The authors state that fighting against terrorism today demands a comprehensive approach, and though force-based approach has always prevailed over “soft” tools in realization of anti-terrorist strategies of states, in modern world realities without a psycho-ideological component combating terrorism does not seem to succeed. A balanced universal model of using these two components does not exist, as everything in this context depends on specifics of a country or a region. But the need for considering “soft” aspects becomes more relevant. Iran is an active player in combating international terrorism, though it does not have a unified document or specific strategy with defined “hard” and “soft” tools of anti-terrorism fight. The force-based element of Iran’s counter-terrorism approach at the present stage obviously prevails over the non-powerbased. The country’s active military involvement in solution of the Syrian crisis, supporting military groups, which fight against radical element in the region and tough policy towards drug traffic is an important source of income for extremist factions, proves the matter. “Hard power” approach in fighting against terrorism leads to physical extermination of terrorists, however, consideration of the survival of their ideas in modern info-communications century reveals the significance of the issue of “soft” instrument use in anti-terrorism strategy. In fight against terrorism in this dimension, Iran resorts to “soft power” and public diplomacy. The cultural, religious and scientific potentials as well as educational institutes and information resources are actively utilized to construct a correct understanding of Islam and its positive image, to delegitimate and deconstruct narratives of radical Islamists.


About the authors

Hasan Jabbari Nasir

Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO University)

Author for correspondence.
Email: hjabbarinasir@gmail.com

PhD in Political Science, Member of the Institute of Cultural and Social Studies of IRI

Bahri Khurshedovich Bahriev

Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO University)

Email: mr.bahriev29@gmail.com

PhD student, World Politics Department, MGIMO University

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