Recently, there has been a tactical shift in Iran’s foreign policy and a change in the stance of the Islamic Republic’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).
Iranian leaders now do not appear to publicly shy away from achieving their ideological and political objectives in the Gulf region and wider Middle East. Tehran officials now boast about the notion that they have influence and power from the Mediterranean Sea to the Bab el-Mandeb in Yemen.
The Iranian Supreme National Security Council’s Secretary Ali Shamkhani pointed out: “Iran has linked to Bab el-Mandeb and to the Mediterranean.” In addition, Habibollah Sayyari, an Iranian naval commander stated “There are nine important sea passages in the world, and Iran oversees five of them... The security of the Gulf of Aden and the international waters are important to Iran.”
Iranian leaders have also acclaimed the Houthi militias for their efforts in the fighting and boasted about Tehran’s control of several Arab capitals.
The underlying foundations of the Islamic Republic’s foreign policy have become officially more public by revealing the IRGC’s attempts to exert political, ideological, and economic influence in the countries in the region, be the hegemon, and dominate the Middle East.
Nevertheless, the question is how the Islamic Republic managed to expand its military and political influence in the Middle East, even though it has been under international economic sanctions and an arms embargo? What kind of methods does Tehran rely on?
The ideological aspect of Iran’s foreign policy drives the IRGC to spread the Islamic Republic’s values through financing, arming, and supporting Shiite extremist groups in several nations in the Middle EastMajid Rafizadeh