Video footage captured by Syrian rebels suggests that Iran’s involvement in the Syrian conflict goes beyond sending advisors to assist Bashar al-Assad’s regime. The BBC reported on 30th October that the video shows the extent of Tehran’s assistance to the National Defense Force (NDF), a pro-Assad militia.
Diplomacy cannot succeed so long as the Iranian regime is driven by an ideology that, at its core, is in an existential conflict with liberal democratic values.Anna Borshchevskaya
Western policymakers refer to Iran as a “regional power.” Yet Iranian politicians themselves increasingly refer to the Islamic Republic as a “pan-regional power” instead, implying a broader area of influence. Iranian officials continue to use media, aid and/or irregular forces to influence Bahrain, Lebanon, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Tehran has also reached out to many African countries, particularly those that vote in important international organisations, such as the U.N. Security Council, uranium-producing countries, and littoral states that can provide logistical support for the Iranian navy. Iranian officials have described Iran as an “extra-regional power,” – an even greater, though subtle, emphasis on Tehran’s ambitions outside the Middle East and beyond building a nuclear bomb.