Obstacles Hindering Iran's Expansion in the Middle East

(Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center) Dr. Raz Zimmt - While Iran seeks to create a sphere of influence in western Iraq and eastern Syria and establish a land corridor to the Mediterranean, the government of Iraq (with American encouragement) may hinder the transfer of weapons through this route. In addition, parts of this route are controlled by forces opposed to Iranian meddling, such as the Kurdish militias supported by the U.S. or the Sunni communities in western and central Iraq. Moreover, ISIS will likely revert to guerrilla tactics and carry out hit-and-run attacks against Iranian vehicles moving along the land corridor. In Syria, Russia has become the dominant player, and Iran has had to settle for a secondary role. In addition, it is likely that Sunni Turkey will view increasing Shi'ite influence spearheaded by Iran as harmful to its interests. Iran's ability to cement its influence in the region is constrained by the demographic composition of the largely Sunni region and the competing influence of other players. The writer is a research fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University.

2017-11-29 00:00:00

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