Strategic Depth is a fundamental and key concept used in analysis of different events and happenings in the world of politics and it not only depicts the influence power of a country in a certain region but also is an efficient support for that country’s politics. The importance of this concept has made our Supreme Leader state: “Our nation relies on the country strategic depth. The enemies do not want Iranian nation and the Islamic Republic government to be supported and approved by different countries. Our enemies want to intercept this relationship. Islamic Republic of Iran should must accept that protecting the strategic depth of the country is of its responsibilities, and this is considered as a main criteria”. You can read, in this article, Ramin Fallah’s explanations about this issue.
Ramin Fallah began his explanation as follows:
Our Supreme Leader believes that worry and affection of the region’s people towards him being hospitalized root in deep emotional, faith- and belief-based links between Iran and the other countries, and that this link and relationship is the result of Iran’s strategic depth. He has stated: “People are so affectionate and considered about me that I feel ashamed of these great deals of favor and kindness. In addition to our nation, people of other countries, also, expressed their tenderness. I have always affirmed that the Iranian nation possesses a strategic depth that is unique and exclusive to it. We know no other country or government that has experienced such affections, kindness and emotional, belief- and faith-based links from exterritorial countries”.
“Here we can perceive the great importance and power of strategic depth. The concept of strategic depth is explained based on soft power and it is in line with power evolution in the world. According to our Supreme Leader’s opinion, those countries and regions that act like roots, strength sources or holding strings for our country form the strategic depth of the Islamic regime”, Ramin Fallah added.
Ramin Fallah explained about strategic depth: “Strategic depth of a country can be investigated in terms of scope and influence power. Scope means the areas and fields on which we can influence. For example, our country can pose great influences on both politics and economics in Latin America. The greater the scope is, the higher would be the ability to make decisions. Influence power, also, means depth and intensity of the influence of a country’s politics. A country may be in an ideal situation if it possesses both great scope and high power of influence so that it can pose effective influences on different fields.
Ramin Fallah’s Opinion about Functions of Strategic Depth in Iran
Ramin Fallah believes that strategic depth functions have two aspects: 1) establishment of security; and 2) threat elimination. A country that has a great power of influence in its neighbors’ perspective might be less threatened and it pays less costs to establish environmental security. For example, our strategic depth and penetration power in Afghanistan and Pakistan have great influences on security issues.
The other aspect of strategic depth function is increase of a country’s ability. The common definitions for strategic depth and Supreme Leader’s statements suggest that all countries rely on their strategic depth and the greater the strategic depth of a country is, the more its ability would be to make appropriate decisions and establish desired coalitions. Therefore, the country can reach profits with less expenses. For example, Iraqi people accept Iran’s presence and activity in their country’s Petrochemicals industry and they welcome it. However, they not only do not accept America’s economic influence on their country but also they consider it as opposed to Iraq’s independency. Iraqi people’s behavior shows the specific function of strategic depth.
Ramin Fallah’s Opinion about the Instruments for Creation and Reinforcement of Strategic Depth
Ramin Fallah believes that there are many factors influencing on a country’s popularity and its relationship with other governments and also, on its impact on other countries’ behaviors. For example, common religion and ideology can be a great substrate for establishment and reinforcement of strategic depth. The most important factor that reinforces strategic depth is belief in common value and thought foundations.
“Islamic Republic of Iran could amplify its strategic depth due to commitment to Islam and believing in a religion which is common in Islamic countries. Therefore, it could reach a distinguished position so that western governments have stated that any argument and debate about the region issues, such as war in Syria or Iraq’s events after Saddam’s death, would be inconclusive without Iran’s presence”, Ramin Fallah added.
Language Augments Strategic Depth!
The other factor that expands a country’s influence power is its language. Common language makes cooperation possible. Therefore, Islamic Republic of Iran has great opportunities for cooperation with Farsi-speaking countries of the region. Moreover, Farsi language can be an appropriate substrate for propagation of Islamic Iranian culture and expansion of Islamic Republic influence. Our Supreme Leader has stated that propagation of Farsi language through reaching Persian Language Teaching positions in academic institutions and universities is a fundamental responsibility of cultural ambassadors because this way, it would be possible to introduce not only Iran’s history and culture but also its present values and successes to the world.
English-speaking countries are also trying to develop their language and promote it as the universal language of the world.
Influence of Economic Factors on Strategic Depth
Another factor that has a positive influence on development of a country’s strategic depth is “economic strength and common financial profit”. Historically, the countries seeking power have always been trying to reach great positions in other countries’ economic field. Islamic Republic of Iran has common interests and profits with its neighbor countries and it has created honest and helpful relationships with other nations. Therefore, it can expand its strategic depth and establish healthy mutual relationships, which are expandable.