Ideas. Action. Impact. The Washington Institute for Near East Policy The Washington Institute: Improving the Quality of U.S. Middle East Policy

Other Pages

Policy Analysis

Hugo Chavez greets Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Carracas

Articles & Op-Eds

The Iranian Security Threat in the Western Hemisphere: Learning from Past Experience

Matthew Levitt

Also available in

SAIS Review

Winter-Spring 2012

World attention on Iran centers on the threats to international security posed by the country’s nuclear program. As Iran presses on in its efforts to become a nuclear power, the regime in Tehran also employs an aggressive foreign policy that relies heavily on the deployment of clandestine assets abroad to collect intelligence and support foreign operations, all of which are aimed at furthering Iranian foreign policy interests. From a U.S. perspective, Iran’s massive diplomatic presence in the Western Hemisphere presents a particularly acute problem. In response to Iran’s abuse of the diplomatic system, the international community should collectively press our friends and allies in Latin America to severely restrict the size of Iran’s diplomatic missions to the minimum needed to conduct official business.