Iran Securitization of Terrorist ISIS

Document Type : Original Article


Department of Politics and International Relations at Florida International University


This article seeks to identify and explain the process of securitizing ISIS by the Islamic Republic of Iran. The most
important question of this article is: How did the Iranian government manage to portray ISIS as an existential threat to its
citizens and how to involve them in their foreign and military policies against this terrorist group? This article uses the
securitization theory to explain the Iranian war with ISIS in Syria and Iraq. It aims to consider the process and dynamics of
securitization of ISIS in Iranian society which led them to support the military combat with ISIS. The research hypothesis is
that the focus on securitization theory prepares the constant framework for understanding how the Copenhagen notion of security helps the Iranian government to justify the enemy narrative of ISIS through the trend of exclusion, exceptionalities, and use of physical force. Iranian government actively uses the securitization process to make required changes and adjustments for confronting ISIS to gain support and legitimacy from ordinary people. This article considers the role of the audience in the process of decision-making and how rulers use this opportunity to mobilize and organize armed forces. The Iranian government in the process of securitizing ISIS has shown that it can involve the people in the process of decision-making and the implementation of its foreign and military policies.


Main Subjects

Article Title [Persian]

امنیتی سازی تروریست‌های داعش توسط ایران

Author [Persian]

  • علی نعمت پور
Ahmadian, H., & Mohseni, P. (2019). Iran's Syria strategy: the evolution of deterrence. International Affairs, 95(2), 341-364.
Aras, B., & Karakaya Polat, R. (2008). From conflict to cooperation: Desecuritization of Turkey's relations with Syria and Iran. Security Dialogue, 39(5), 495-515.
Arif, B. H. (2019). IRAN’S STRUGGLE FOR STRATEGIC DOMINANCE IN A POST-ISIS IRAQ. Asian Affairs, 50(3), 344-363.
Balzacq, T. (2005). The three faces of securitization: Political agency, audience and context. European journal of international relations, 11(2), 171-201.
Balzacq, T., & Leonard, S. (2011, January). Theory and evidence in securitization studies. In Research Seminar of the Department of Political Science, Social Sciences and Communication.
Bigo, D. (2002). Security and immigration: Toward a critique of the governmentality of unease. Alternatives, 27(1_suppl), 63-92.
Buzan, Barry and others. (2003). Regions and powers: the structure of international, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Buzan, Barry. "The timeless wisdom of realism?." International theory: positivism and beyond (1996): 47-65.
Buzan, Barry and others. 2003. Regions and powers: the structure of international, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.##Esfandiary, D., & Tabatabai, A. (2015). Iran's ISIS policy. International Affairs, 91(1), 1-15.
Gulmohamad, Z. K. (2014). The Rise and Fall of the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (Levant) ISIS. Global security studies, 5(2).
Hansen, L. (2000). The Little Mermaid's silent security dilemma and the absence of gender in the Copenhagen School. Millennium, 29(2), 285-306.
Malakoutikhah, Z. (2020). Iran: Sponsoring or combating terrorism? Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 43(10), 913-939.##McNally, R. (2015). “The Role of ISIS influence in the Iranian Politics.” Turkish Journal of Scientific Research 7, no. 2, (2015): 179-185.
Miller, T. (2009). Mapping the global Muslim population: a report on the size and distribution of the world’s Muslim population. Washington, DC: Pew Research Center.##Nadarajah, S., & Sriskandarajah, D. (2005). Liberation struggle or terrorism? The politics of naming the LTTE. Third World Quarterly, 26(1), 87-100.
O'Reilly, C. (2008). Primetime patriotism: News media and the securitization of Iraq. J. Pol. & L., 1, 66.
Roe, P. (2008). Actor, audience (s) and emergency measures: Securitization and the UK's decision to invade Iraq. Security dialogue, 39(6), 615-635.
Ostovar, A. (2019). The grand strategy of militant clients: Iran’s way of war. Security Studies, 28(1), 159-188.##Stritzel, H. (2014). Security in translation: Securitization theory and the localization of threat. Springer.
Stritzel, H., & Chang, S. C. (2015). Securitization and counter-securitization in Afghanistan. Security Dialogue, 46(6), 548-567.
Taureck, R. (2006). Securitization theory and securitization studies. Journal of International relations and Development, 9(1), 53-61.
Vuori, J. A. (2008). Illocutionary logic and strands of securitization: Applying the theory of securitization to the study of non-democratic political orders. European journal of international relations, 14(1), 65-99.
Wæver, O. (2011). Politics, security, theory. Security Dialogue, 42(4-5), 465-480.##Wæver, O. (1997). Concepts of security. University of Copenhagen, Institute of Political Science.
Williams, M. (2007). Culture and security: Symbolic power and the politics of international security. Routledge.