Asset-Herausgeber

Einzeltitel

The Iranian Crescent

The article series "The Iranian Crescent" analyzes Iran's political, geostrategic and economic interests in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon.

Asset-Herausgeber

Iran is an important country located at a strategic intersection between the Middle East, the Persian Gulf, the Caucuses and the Indian subcontinent. Its population of 84 million people and proximity to the world’s biggest oil reserves in the Gulf renders it a key international and regional player.

Since the Iranian revolution of 1979, when the Pahlavi dynasty was overthrown and Ayatollah Khomeini took over the leadership of the country, Iran is keen to extend its influence across the Middle East.

To do this, Iran seeks to win hearts and minds by employing soft power through charitable institutions, religious and cultural centers. Further, it develops economic ties by exporting extensive electricity, gas and oil supplies to neighboring countries. What is more, Iran forges strategic alliances across the Middle East often on a sub-state level through networks of proxy militia groups and other non-state actors – a phenomenon that has increased enormously since the 1990s.

Political instability and weak states, for instance, in Lebanon, Iraq and Syria have allowed Iran to form alliances with the Lebanese Hezbollah as well as militia groups in Iraq. Iran also supports President Bashar al-Assad in Syria, the ties between the two countries have strengthened significantly since the beginning of the uprising against Assad’s rule in 2011.

Many European countries and the United States consider Iran’s actions as destabilizing to the region. They are concerned about Iran’s alliances with violent proxy forces as well as its nuclear ambitions. Further, Iran’s conflict with regional powers, such as Saudi Arabia and Israel, instill fear of a wider confrontation in the Middle East. To curtail Iran’s nuclear and military activity, many Western countries imposed sanctions on the Iranian government.

The article series “The Iranian Crescent” analyzes Iran’s political, geostrategic and economic interests from a regional perspective. The analyses describe Iranian activity in three Middle Eastern countries, and provide prospects for the years to come.

In part one of the trilogy Haydar al-Khafaji sheds light on Iraqi-Iranian relations since the fall of the Saddam regime. The second part by Makram Rabah deals with Lebanese-Iranian relations since the end of Lebanon’s civil war in 1990, in the third part Nawar Shaban analyzes Iran’s interest and sway in Syria.

Asset-Herausgeber

Kontakt

Anne-Sophie Bauer

Anne-Sophie Bauer

Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin

Anne.Bauer@kas.de +961 1 388 061/62

comment-portlet

Asset-Herausgeber

Asset-Herausgeber