Iran and Shiite Geopolitical Project

https://rasanah-iiis.org/english/?p=1746

ByMohammed Alsulami

When the clerics hijacked the revolution in 1979, and Khomeini established the political Jurist Leadership regime, the fundamental strategy of this new regime began to spin around “Exporting the Revolution.” Consequently, this term has always been enormously raised in Khomeini and his followers’ statements, especially during the Iranian-Iraqi war.
Such a cumbersome project, which Khomeini and his supporters framed, was more coveted than to be pragmatic, Iran that time –and still- had no tools to implement this project. Moreover, the regime sought to revive the so-called “Um Alqura Theory” project, which was founded by Mohammad Javad Larijani, one of Larijani’s family four brothers, who are influential in all Jurist Leadership’s departments. This theory is based on transforming Qum, which embraces the mullahs and the Shiite Hawzas, to capital for the Islamic world. Accordingly, Tehran, which is located about 80 kilometers away from Qum, will ultimately be the political capital of Islamic countries. As a result, the fancied theory has failed, and the breakdown of the project merely turned into silly slogans sticking to the regime’s Jurist Leadership. Such abortive theory has become a severe burden that cannot realistically be continued, at the same time, it became either complicated to get rid of it.
Admittedly, Tehran has spared no efforts to achieve its alluring project and sought every possible alternative to realize it. It is essential to stave off the repeated mistakes of the near past and ward off any possibility of creating a project that is harmonious with the capabilities of the Iranian regime. Most importantly, in such agenda Iran strives to circumvent from any direct and ineligible confrontation, only relies on inflicting its burdens and risks on its allies and proxies in the region as a key factor to make the project work.
Hence, talking about “exporting the revolution” has been transformed into “Shiite Geopolitical project,” through forming forces and armed militias operating at the full service of the Iranian regime from the Northern shores of Mediterranean Sea to the Southern Arab Sea, passing through the West Bank of the Arabian Gulf. The Iranian alternative project depends on un-Iranian elements in the first place, where they appear to the fore, and the Iranian element remains in the shadows and behind the scenes.
There is no doubt that Iran considered this project would take a long time, particularly the timely formation of those components inside the Arabian region requires enormous and furtive efforts to be completed before coming out with concrete results. However, there were two main events accelerates the Iranian move, the fall of Baghdad after the US invasion in 2003, which paved the way for Tehran to dominate on the new Iraq reality under the American complacency or complicity in assessing the Iranian threat in the region. Also, the GCC withdrawal from the Iraqi arena also contributes in turning this eastern gate for a conducive field for the Iranian expansionist activity. The other event is manifested by the Syrian crisis, where Iran attained an opportunity to reach two main objectives, first is to protect the Syrian regime from falling / second is to expand its presence in the wake of what the Arab region has suffered from disorder and turmoil after the so-called “Arab Spring.”
The “New Iran” believes that with all of its capabilities, wealth and important geographic location, however, it cannot alone achieve its expansionist ambitions and hegemony over the region. Therefore, the theorists in Iran maintain that the most distinguishing feature of the Iranian Geopolitical project is Shiism, as Iran is the only country in the world to host Shiism and represents the Shia world’s pivot. Thus, Iran can gain Shiite’s hearts in the region and the world, and makes Iran’s plans work, and that Tehran is promoting allegations that empowerment of Shiites in the world are strongly linked to Iran. Thus, Shiite’s contribution in strengthening Iran and achieving its objective is an essential determination for the rest of the Shiites’ position in the region. In other words, Iran says to the Shiites that they have to support its projects in the region to achieve their altitude. On the other hand, Iran has worked to encourage the Shiite minority in the area to oppose the ruling political regimes in their countries and create motionless confusing security in those areas to find an integration with the strategic objectives of Tehran.
To sum up, the Iranian regime adopts a variety of plans and strategies, aiming to further its expansionist and sectarian project in the region. The countries in the region will remain in an alert status and work by any chance to put out conflicts ignited by Tehran, is this is a viable way to confront the subversive plans of the mullahs’ regime? Are countries of the region considering any other alternatives to cope the Iranian sectarian project? Is this the appropriate time to talk about surrounding Tehran with Sunni and ethnic Geopolitical projects especially that the Persian plateau encircled by non-Persian peoples within the so-called geography of Iran, as well as Central Asia, Pakistan, Turkey and Afghanistan countries?
Waging such sectarian project is not because Iran is strong or smart but rather it is due to our division and not thinking of coming together under the umbrella of one man. So how long this fragmentation will continue.

Translated Article: Watan Daily

Opinions in this article reflect the writer’s point of view, not necessarily the view of The Arabain GCIS

Mohammed Alsulami
Mohammed Alsulami
Head of Rasanah: International Institute for Iranian Studies