By Research Fellow Gabriela Billini
While all sovereign nations have relationships with other states for a variety of reasons ranging from economic to cultural to security concerns, some of the most important ties are with states that lie in one’s immediate region and geographic neighborhood. Such bilateral relations are helpful for garnering influence via soft power and may influence decisions a state’s government makes concerning its domestic policies and international engagement. They are particularly important for addressing key regional issues and conflicts. Iran is no exception, and has a dossier of shifting relations.
This series on Iran and the Middle East (part I) will elaborate on Iran’s connections with Middle East states and its eastern neighbors in political relations, economic, security, and civil society matters. Knowing what lies at the core of these relations is key to understanding Iran’s role in the region and can shed light on bigger issues that contribute to the complexities of the Middle East. Understanding Iran’s relationships with its neighbors is particularly important for comprehending its ambitions for regional influence. Three key features that help define Iran’s relationships with its neighbors include each state’s relationship with the outgoing Pahlavi Dynasty, the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988) and each state’s relationship with Saudi Arabia.Read More