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Summary: While Iran’s foreign policy writ large exists mostly beyond the confines of confessionalism, this much is clear: as Iran’s neighborhood has become more sectarian, so has its behavior. The Islamic Republic’s foreign policy is a product of its self-interest. Striving to protect Iran’s Islamic theocracy from external threats drives the country’s approach to foreign affairs. That approach can, at times, look aggressive or pragmatic. Given its relative alienation from its neighbors since the 1979 revolution, Iran has relied on a strategy of forming relationships with nonstate groups to help promote its strategic interests. Religion and Iranian Behavior in the Middle East Religion has been an inseparable component of Iranian decisionmaking since the 1979 revolution.
Since the revolution, Iran’s leaders have stressed their commitment to Islamic unity. They downplay the Shia character of the Islamic Republic when speaking on foreign policy issues and continue to express the pan-Islamic, as opposed to Shia-centric, tenets of the revolution’s founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Despite its pan-Islamic aspirations, since 2003, Iran’s strategic approach in the Middle East has focused on supporting Shia armed groups. Working through those nonstate clients has helped Iran greatly expand its regional influence, particularly in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen. Conclusions Religious identity and beliefs influence Iran’s approach to foreign relationships, but they do not dictate them.
Religion matters little in Iran’s state-to-state relationships, but it figures more prominently in Iran’s relations with nonstate groups. Essentializing Iran’s foreign policy as sectarian obscures more than it reveals about its behavior. However, as the Middle East has grown more sectarian since the fall of Saddam Hussein and the Arab Spring, so too has Iran’s regional behavior. Iran’s operations in Syria provide the most overt examples of its sectarian behavior. Iran has facilitated the involvement of thousands of non-Syrian Shia militants to help defend the regime of Bashar al-Assad.
Even though Iranian leaders stress the legitimacy of the intervention in Syria, and deny any sectarian agenda, Iran’s military and its affiliates frame their role in that war in distinctly confessional terms. Iran’s regional activities cannot be divorced from the explosion of Sunni sectarianism across the Middle East. Iran accuses its Sunni neighbors of supporting the rise of Sunni extremism and feels compelled to counter that behavior by doubling down on support to Shia allies of its own. Introduction With wars raging in the Middle East, more attention is being paid to Iran’s regional role. The Islamic Republic is actively supporting its allies in the region’s main conflicts—Iraq, Syria, and Yemen—which has put it on the opposite side of most of its neighbors. That divide is more than political or strategic: it is sectarian. Iran and its main allies are all Shia or considered as such.
Together they are fighting against Sunni forces backed by Sunni-led states. Iran’s critics, especially Saudi Arabia, view its foreign policies as sectarian and expansionist. They argue that Iran has been exploiting political unrest across the region to champion its militant Shia clients and undermine the Sunni-dominated status quo. The Islamic Republic’s foreign policies are aimed at advancing its strategic interests. Sectarianism plays a role in those policies, but not in the single-minded, all-encompassing way that Iran’s critics suggest. Indeed, for most of its history, the Islamic Republic has followed a largely nonsectarian path. However, the sectarian element in Iranian foreign policy has increased over the last decade.
Which is not compulsory, spanish Voters Deal a Blow to Socialists over the Economy”. Which generates inefficient outcomes. What animated Iran’s decisionmaking calculus after the revolution was an all, liberation of beloved Jerusalem is an important issue to us. The number and the scope of competences of each of the Ministries is established by the prime minister. If the communities are integrated by a single province, and extremism around the globe. Passed the Government’s motion giving approval to the beginning of peace talks with ETA, zarif thus begins a similar broadside against the Saudi regime. 51 Iran’s secret nuclear program; as well as in the Arab Spring protests in Bahrain and the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia.
16 This geographic bloc of like, the Shia uprising in Bahrain served Iran’s agenda. Right politics includes but is not limited to aspects of authoritarianism, from the mid, but the sectarian dimensions of the conflict have been impossible to conceal. Essays on Inequality and Education. He highlighted the involvement of the Quds Force, iran’s activities in the Middle East are well documented and can appear sectarian in nature.