Iran’s Regional Strategy
Since the overthrow of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in 1979, the Islamic Republic of Iran has embarked on a program of regional dominance and global relevance. In order to effectively accomplish this mission the new Iranian state needed to export their brand of government based on Shia ideology. the Shah’s ascended to power with the backing of the post- World War II status quo. In 1951, Mohammad Mosaddegh was appointed as the prime minister. He became enormously popular in Iran after he nationalized Iran’s petroleum industry and oil reserves. however, this was a threat to the regional interests of the United States. So, he was overthrown and sparked a long distrust of U.S. motives within Iranian politics and a perceived threat that the United States possess. this perception whether founded or unfounded has catapulted a growing desire on the behalf of the Iranian government for survival. The only way that the Iranian regime sees as being able to stop the United States current regional power and threat to its very existence is by an aggressive regional policy and the development of nuclear capabilities.
The Iranian government has been involved in regional wars by proxy participation almost right after 1979. Hezbollah during the guerrilla war in southern Lebanon during the Lebanese Civil War is one prime example of such a regional Iranian policy. Hezbollah was supplied and trained by Iranian security and Intelligence agencies in order to combat the regional interests of the West and Israel in particular. This involvement by Iran and the intervention into the Iraq War of 2003 has cemented the Iranian Government as a threat to American policy for the region.
The Arab Spring and the U.S. Intervention in Iraq have only served to strengthen the resolve and the regional covert Iranian activity in the middle-east, by the destabilization of the region. This has also lead to the Iranian people becoming more supportive of their government. this support is based on ongoing economic sanctions and the frightful consequences of the Arab Spring in regards to the loss of life and destabilizing affect of the movement.
In reflection, the motive for Iranian regional policy based on perceived threats real or otherwise and the affect of the Arab Spring has been a most productive chain of events from which the Iranian Government has benefited. Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, sought to export its ideology abroad. Furthermore, the Iranian Government has provided logistical assistance to Hezbollah and other such groups. Economic Sanctions, U.S. Intervention in Iraq, and the Arab Spring have strengthened Iranian influence in the area and its grip on the Iranian people.