Iranian Influence in the Levant, Egypt, Iraq, and Afghanistan

(American Enterprise Institute and the Institute for the Study of War) Frederick W. Kagan, Ahmad K. Majidyar, Danielle Pletka, and Marisa Cochrane Sullivan - The Arab Spring has brought a growing Sunni-Shi'a sectarian tinge to regional conflict, and Iran finds itself on the wrong side of that fight in most countries in the region. As that sectarian conflict spreads, Iran will have more difficulty presenting itself as a pan-Islamist regional leader - and Saudi Arabia, and possibly Turkey, likely will emerge as the obvious and natural Sunni Arab resistance to the Persian Shi'a. The ascension of Hizbullah to a position of dominance in Lebanese politics in 2011 has allowed Tehran to establish much more direct relationships in Beirut without the mediation of Syria. This could not have come at a better time for Iran, as it suggests that Iran's interests in the Levant can be protected and advanced even with a greatly weakened Syrian regime.

2012-05-25 00:00:00

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