Iran Reshaping Regional Dynamics in Its Favor

(American Enterprise Institute) J. Matthew McInnis - By expending vast resources to bolster the Assad regime and Lebanese Hizbullah, Iran has been able to prevent its Syrian ally's overthrow. Meanwhile, Iran's Supreme Leader Khamenei appears to be looking to rebuild Iran's alliances with Sunni states and groups. Hamas and Iran have recently renewed their bilateral relations after a three-year freeze. The growing foreign policy rift between Qatar and Saudi Arabia has led to a split in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates are determined to combat Iran's regional ambitions, whereas Oman and Qatar see Tehran as a manageable partner. Iran's recent $60 billion, 25-year contract with Oman shows the Supreme Leader's willingness to employ an array of economic incentives to reshape regional dynamics in Iran's favor. Khamenei has enjoyed watching the Saudi-American alliance fray as negotiations for a final deal on the Iranian nuclear program proceed and the U.S. commitment to the region is increasingly questioned. The writer, a former senior analyst at the U.S. Department of Defense (1998-2013), is a resident fellow at AEI.

2014-03-28 00:00:00

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