The Rise and Rise of the Shia State
Is Tehran on the cusp of achieving regional hegemony or are forecasts of its rise to dominance in the Middle East overblown?
Iran has emerged from decades of isolation and struggle to become a leading, if not the pre-eminent, regional power. Iran projects its influence throughout the Middle East and parts of Central Asia. Moreover, Iranian diplomacy is active on the world stage, with long-term projects in Africa and South America.
The landmark nuclear deal of July 2015 was a major triumph and saw the Islamic Republic successfully negotiate with several world powers to reach a mutually acceptable agreement. Crucially, whilst the nuclear deal restricts Iran’s nuclear programme for at least a decade, it doesn’t irreversibly dismantle any part of it.
With internal Iranian politics stabilising around a centrist administration led by President Rouhani, the country is set to continue on a path of regional strategic growth. But with clear signs that the Trump administration is determined to contain Iran’s regional influence, what is the risk of a military confrontation?
This book argues that Iran has developed sufficient diplomatic strength and credible military capability to deter a full-scale US military assault. But absent a dramatic lowering of tensions, there remains a risk of limited clashes, with far-reaching consequences for regional security.
Mahan Abedin is an Iranian-born British journalist and analyst of Iranian and Middle Eastern politics. His strong thinktank background includes stints at the Washington-based Jamestown Foundation and the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses in New Delhi. Abedin regularly appears on international broadcasting media, including the BBC and Al-Jazeera English, to comment on the latest developments in Iranian politics.