Listen: “The Iranian threat” – real or imagined?

Farhang Jahanpour
Mohamed El-Doufani* writes

Dr Farhang Jahanpour, an Iranian academic and journalist living in the UK, sheds light on the reasons for the chequered relations between Iran and the West, primarily the United States, and highlights the main drivers behind Iran’s regional policy.

Historically, Iran has not been an aggressor nation, so what are the basis of this allegation, often made by the Saudis and their allies in the Gulf and elsewhere in the Arab world?

Is the Islamic Republic motivated by a desire to promote the Sh’i  strand of Islam? Or are the real drivers of Iranian foreign policy a mixture of Iranian nationalism and religion? 

What are the basis of Tehran’s relations with Lebanese Hezbollah and the Yemeni Houthis? 

Is Iran’s intervention in Syria to do with Israel, the fear of instability or kinship with the Alawites, who belong to an offshoot of the Shi’i strand of Islam to which the ruling Asad family and key members of the Syrian regime belong? And how does Iran view Sunni Muslim movements, such as the Muslim  Brotherhood?


*Dr Mohamed El-Doufani is an editor, writer, analyst and commentator specialising in the Middle East and North Africa, and Russian and US foreign policies.

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