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Policy Analysis

Policy Notes 42

Deconstructing and Countering
the Iran Threat Network

Omer Carmi

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October 2017

Omer Carmi, a lead researcher with the Israel Defense Forces, analyzes the components of the Iran Threat Network and builds a compelling case for neutralizing harmful Iranian activity in the region and beyond.

The discussion surrounding President Trump’s decertification of the nuclear deal has obscured more-urgent threats emanating from the Islamic Republic. These include Iranian efforts to spread its influence as far afield as Nigeria, Azerbaijan, and Pakistan—not to mention its aggressive involvement in closer theaters such as Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. Any policy designed to contain Iran’s activities abroad and constrain the players known collectively as the Iran Threat Network (ITN) must therefore follow certain precepts. As a starting point, such a policy must hold Iran accountable for the actions of its partners, establish efficient information sharing with other countries regarding the network, and demonstrate to Shia communities worldwide that Iran is exploiting them, not giving them succor.

In this detailed Policy Note, Omer Carmi, a lead analyst and researcher with the Israel Defense Forces, breaks down the components of the ITN and then methodically builds a compelling case for neutralizing harmful Iranian activity in the region and beyond.


OMER CARMI is a major in the Israel Defense Forces and a 2017 military fellow at The Washington Institute. For the last several years, he has led analytical and research efforts in the IDF pertaining to developments in the Middle East and national security arenas. Carmi joined the IDF in 2008 and holds an MBA from Tel Aviv University and a BS in Middle East studies and computer science from Haifa University.