Iran’s influence in the Middle East has inadvertently been boosted as a result of America’s war on terror, according to Britain’s Royal Institute for International Studies (RIIA).
“There is little doubt that Iran has been the chief beneficiary of the war on terror in the Middle East,” the RIIA said in a new 52-page report on Iran, Its Neighbours And Regional Crises (pdf file), published today.
“The United States, with Coalition support, has eliminated two of Iran’s regional rival governments – the Taliban in Afghanistan in November 2001 and Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq in April 2003 – but has failed to replace either with coherent and stable political structures.”
The London-based institute said that the wars and continued weaknesses in Afghanistan and Iraq “have further strengthened Iran, their most powerful immediate neighbour, which maintains significant involvement in its ‘near-abroad’.”
“Iran has now replaced America as the most influential power in the Middle East. The US-driven agenda for confronting Iran is severely compromised by the confident ease with which Iran sits in its region,” it added.
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