Iranian Interference in the Region: Fact or Fiction

  • 4 November 2015

Close proximity often leads to the creation of a harmonious environment between countries that share the same geographical space; as evidenced by the formation of political and economic blocs, and the emergence of a regional order based on the establishment of binding regional-security arrangements. The potential impact of these arrangements at the international level, and overlaps between the international and regional context, are of course duly considered. Yet, close geographical proximity can also serve as a breeding ground for a tense regional environment. This is for a number of reasons, including the desire of some countries to exert greater influence over regional developments. This in turn may not be agreeable to other neighboring countries, and as a result, the grounds for consensus narrows in the face of heightened stress factors.

This description can be applied to the Arabian Gulf context and the Iranian presence. The two scenarios outlined above can also be extended to include the entire Middle East. Various regional experts have interpreted the policies of the Iranian regime as having fueled regional instability, pointing to ongoing Iranian interference in the affairs of Gulf countries—a claim the Iranian regime categorically denies. Iran believes its actions should not be interpreted as interference, but rather fall within the rights of any country that seeks to play a role in the region.

This lecture considers a key question that has long dominated the work of those with a particular interest in the area: Is Iranian interference in the region fact or fiction?

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Wednesday 4 November 2015

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Wednesday 4 November 2015

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