New Article: Rezaei and Cohen, Iran’s Nuclear Program and the Israeli-Iranian Rivalry

Rezaei, Farhad and Ronen A. Cohen, “Iran’s Nuclear Program and the Israeli-Iranian Rivalry in the Post Revolutionary Era.” British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 41.4 (2014): 442-60.



The 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran led to a set of major shifts in the Middle East and an anti-Israeli stance became a central approach of the revolutionaries. Up to 1979, however, Tel Aviv had a close relationship with Tehran whose enmity with its Arab neighbours was anchored in a historical struggle for regional supremacy. Israel has remained an enemy of Islam and the Muslims for the revolutionary leaders and as Iran’s power grew Israel’s anxiety increased accordingly. A new division of power in the region and Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons led to a direct rivalry between Iran and Israel and consequently many Israelis have come to regard Iran and its nuclear program as an existential threat to Israel that has to be halted. This article explores the roots of enmity between these two countries, scrutinizes the threats of a nuclear armed Iran for Israel and attempts to determine what kind of measures might work to convince Iran to renounce its nuclear program. The article has four sections with the first section covering the history of the relations and the origins of hostility between Iran and Israel. The second section provides a brief overview of how the division of regional power led to direct rivalry between Tehran and Tel Aviv. The third section details Iran’s nuclear program and examines its threats to Israel and the last section covers the current sanctions debate over what type of measures might work to compel Iran to renounce its nuclear weapons.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s