Iranian Covert Action Operations: An Espionage Perspective


    Iranian covert action operations have increasingly integrated espionage tactics to enhance their strategic depth and operational effectiveness against foreign adversaries. Moreover, this integration marks a significant shift towards more sophisticated intelligence-driven operations. In addition, Iran’s strategic use of covert action, combined with espionage, aims at expanding its regional influence and countering Western and regional adversaries. Iran employs complexity and uses proxies, cyberwarfare, and clandestine intelligence gathering to achieve strategic objectives in its operations.

    Key Judgement 1. Iran’s strategic focus on enhancing its cyber capabilities suggests a significant shift towards prioritising cyber espionage over traditional intelligence methods. 

    Key Judgement 2. The integration of cyber espionage into Iran’s covert actions will likely increase the threat to Western and regional cybersecurity infrastructures.

    Key Judgement 3. Iran’s use of proxy forces in covert operations will likely expand its regional influence and complicate countermeasures by adversaries.

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