The International Institute for Iranian Studies (Rasanah) has published a book entitled Iran’s Geopolitical Project and Regional Security authored by researchers in Iranian affairs Dr. Abdulraouf Mustafa al-Ghunaimi and Dr. Firas Mohammad Elias.
The 313-page book sheds light on the endeavors of Iran’s decision-makers to re-consider Iran’s relations with neighboring countries within geopolitical, sectarian and economic contexts. This book addresses regional security threats posed by Iran’s expansionist ambitions. In particular, it explains how Iran’s aggressive ideology —which fuels conflicts and wars across the world— threatens the social cohesion of regional countries.
The book also focuses on the strategic shifts in the Middle East since the beginning of the new millennium, including the increasing influence of Shiite communities in the Arab and Islamic world, especially in Shiite-majority countries, which has placed the sect at the center of events. It also explains these developments in the context of the status of Wilayat al-Faqih in “Shiite geopolitics.”
The book deals with the Iranian project in seven chapters. The first chapter addresses the theoretical trends of geopolitics, and also examines the threats posed by the geopolitical strategies of Iranian decision-makers.
The second chapter focuses on the definition of Shiite geopolitics and its objectives, as Iran is its central state and the Shiite enclaves in Iran’s neighboring countries and beyond are partners.
The third chapter examines the Iranian strategic foundations that help in linking the components of Shiite geopolitics through the geographical or population factor, economic and military capabilities, the nature of the political system and Shiite groups abroad.
The fourth chapter reviews the impact of the establishment of the Iranian republic after the 1979 revolution on the formation of Shiite geopolitics and Iran’s attempts to politicize Shiite identity in the Islamic world.
The fifth chapter deals with Iran’s efforts to dominate Shiite geopolitics and the cost of implementing this objective.
The sixth chapter highlights the internal and external complications for Iran with regard to Shiite geopolitics, which negatively affects Iranian ambitions.
The seventh chapter addresses the repercussions of this Iranian geopolitical project on regional security.
In conclusion, the book finds that Iran has not respected the principles of the United Nations by adopting an expansionist ideology on a sectarian basis. Iran has Iran taken advantage of the fall of the Iraqi regime in 2003, the outbreak of the Arab popular protests in 2011 and the signing of the 2015 nuclear deal through adopting hard and soft power tools.