Iran's Axis of Resistance Rises

(Foreign Affairs) Payam Mohseni and Hussein Kalout - What is known as the "axis of resistance," with Iran as its undisputed center, includes Iraq, Syria, Hizbullah, and Hamas in Gaza. Iran and its partners, including Russia, are building a new regional political and security architecture, with Shiite armed movements, totaling hundreds of thousands of combatants, creating a transnational, multiethnic, political and security network that has made the axis more muscular and effective than ever before. The most important issue that the new U.S. administration will face in the Middle East will be the rise of the Iranian-led axis. Pro-Iranian factions of Hamas have now taken over leadership of Gaza. Imad al-Alami, reportedly the new transitional leader of Hamas in Gaza, has cultivated close ties to the IRGC and Hizbullah over the past few decades, traveling frequently to Iran. Growing Iranian power means that there is a real risk of the axis expanding across Shiite-majority Bahrain and into the Shiite eastern Arabian Peninsula where the main Saudi oilfields rest, or consolidating its position in Yemen and the Bab al-Mandab Strait. Dr. Payam Mohseni is director of the Iran Project at the Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, where Hussein Kalout is a research scholar.

2017-01-26 00:00:00

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