Iran's Strategy – Upgrading its International Influence and Power

Iran's investment of millions of dollars in Afghani and Iraqi social projects testifies to its search for regional influence and hegemony.

The New York Times reports that Iran has distributed approximately $200m for building roads, railway lines, universities, telecommunication devices and a medical center in Kabul and western Afghanistan. In addition, the Iranian ambassador in Baghdad, Hassan Kazemi-Qomi announced Iranian plans to build three hospitals and set up a $1bn loan fund for businesses in Iraq.

This signifies another component of an emerging Iranian hegemony. In addition to its pursuit of regime stability and recognition, economic immunity, military strength, expansion of its revolutionary ideology and obtaining a veto over regional processes, Iran's actions in Iraq and Afghanistan testify to its ambition for expanded regional influence.

The Reut Institute contends that by supporting social, educational and construction projects in neighboring countries, Iran demonstrates its ongoing strategy for achieving the status of an international power with influence and control far beyond its own borders. By channeling funds into different projects, Iran gains direct influence over political developments in these countries and increases its role as an emerging superpower.


New York Times, 12/27/06. full text.