Whether Arab, Persian or Kurdish, are able to fight off aggression by extremists, even when the most powerful country on earth (the USA) manages to fail over and over again.
Iran does not have influence over the region’s various Shia actors by default, but is helped by the way the Arab world regimes have historically treated Shia actors in the region.
The “Shi’ite Crescent” has been a self-serving and self-fulfilling prophecy. Since its inception in 1979, never has the Islamic Republic of Iran had such influence and control over a range of state and non-state actors. In Iraq, Iran has unparalleled control over the Shia-dominated state and the country’s range of Shia militias currently fighting so-called Islamic State (IS). Elsewhere, Iranian influence over Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria’s al-Assad regime has been reinforced since the outbreak of conflict in Syria and its transformation into a regionalised sectarian proxy war.
While for Iran it is mostly geostrategic interests that are at stake, for the others it is their survival. IS and its backers in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf…
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