Date of Award

Summer 8-1999

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science & Geography


Graduate Program in International studies

Committee Director

Steven Yetiv

Committee Member

Carl Boyd

Committee Member

Donald Zeigler

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.I45 R46


In 1979, the Islamic Republic of Iran emerged on the international stage and began to establish itself as a participant in global terrorism. Throughout the period 1979-96, officials linked numerous terrorist actions and operations to Iran; this link could have involve Iran's direct sponsorship or indirect involvement, such as by providing monetary support to operatives. In order to develop strategies to prevent or minimize the threat of terrorist attack, Iran's role in global terrorism must be assessed.

The purpose of this work is threefold: to demonstrate the role taken by Iran in global terrorism from 1979 to 1996, to explain why the Iranian state engaged in terrorism, and to illustrate Iran's participation in international and transnational terrorism respectively. Meeting these objectives relies upon available information and literature on Iran and Islamic fundamentalist movements and organizations with terroristic branches. The study finds that Iran's participation in global terrorism, as a sponsoring or supporting state, is related to its domestic environment and to perceived threats to Iran's regime, either domestic and international.


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