April 6, 2018

In a new LISD Commentary, "Is Iran in the Process of Overextending Itself? Israel's Fear of a Super-Hezbollah," LISD non-resident associate Walter Posch analyzes the implications of the presence of pro-Iranian Shia militias in Syria both for relations between Iran and Israel, and for Iranian domestic politics. "Israel especially made it clear that a deployment of these groups close to the Israeli border will be regarded as a threat and therefore, will be forcefully resisted," Posch writes about escalating tensions between Iran and Israel. Although the "dreaded escalation between Israel and Iran may not have occurred, yet," he continues, "the situation ... remains very tense." On the domestic front, Posch sees the militia issue as part and parcel of "an ideological-strategic factional struggle: will Iran, as Ruhani wants, act as a nation-state which uses its resources for its own economic development, or will Ra’isi’s faction prevail, who, like his Iraqi friends, has visions of a permanent Shiite world revolution which must ultimately culminate in confronting Israel?"

About the Author

Dr. Walter Posch is a Middle East expert at the National Defence Academy in Vienna, Austria, who publishes regularly on Iranian domestic and foreign policies. In previous assignments he worked at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) in Berlin (2010-2014), as a Middle East Expert at the European Union Institute for Security Studies in Paris (2004-2009), and for the National Defence Academy in Vienna (2000-2004). He holds a Ph.D. in Iranian Studies from Bamberg University. 

Posch has contributed two additional LISD commentaries: “Kurdistan and Its Referendum,” and "USA-Iran: Did Khamenei Say 'No' to Direct Talks?"

About LISD Commentaries:

The Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination supports a publication program that disseminates research conducted as part of Institute projects in a variety of formats. The published output from LISD includes policy briefs, issue reports, edited volumes, and book-length policy reports that are part of the Liechtenstein Colloquium Report series. The program also supports the e-publication of "LISD commentaries," op-ed style articles that provide analysis and insights to a broad range of current events and pressing policy issues. Past LISD commentaries have addressed issues ranging from counter-insurgency strategy in Afghanistan, the Arab Spring in Egypt, and Turkish elections to human trafficking, self-determination and modern diplomacy, and observations from fact-finding trips to Tehran and Kabul. LISD commentaries are written by LISD researchers, faculty associates, non-resident associates, and participants in LISD-sponsored lectures, panels, workshops, and colloquia.