Iran’s Priorities in a Turbulent Middle East
|Titel||Iran’s Priorities in a Turbulent Middle East|
|Typ der Publikation||Report|
|Untertitel / Serientitel||Middle East Report N°184|
|Institution||International Crisis Group|
Iran is ascendant in the Middle East, spreading its influence in a contiguous geographic arc from Tehran to Baghdad, Damascus and Beirut. Its rise, which began with the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq and accelerated when civil wars erupted in Syria and Yemen, has generated a perception that Iran aspires to be the region’s hegemonic power. To the U.S. and its allies – Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – such an ambition constitutes an intolerable threat. Iran, however, sees itself as breaking out of prolonged isolation and stifling sanctions – precipitated by the 1979 Islamic Revolution – that it perceives as historic injustice. It sees a region dominated by powers with superior military capabilities. After the 2011 Arab uprisings, Iran applied military force to protect a longstanding ally, the Syrian regime, viewing its loss as a possible prelude to its own encirclement. It is in part the gap in perceptions that has locked Iran and its rivals in an escalatory spiral of proxy fights that is destroying the region. A first step toward closing the gap is to better understand how Iran debates and fashions its regional policy.