The Iranian project: Goals and consequences

  • Ismaeel Abdulla Al Mansouri

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


This thesis addresses a fundamental aspect of Iran's foreign policy, primarily the so called Iran project. It encompasses three essential aspects: territorial expansion, ideological expansion and Iran's nuclear program. While the Iranian Project may seem a recent manifestation of Iran's regional ambitions, it is in fact deeply rooted in history. The current regime in Iran inherited the Shah's expansionist policy; a continuation of a tradition which began centuries ago in its history, well-rooted in the Sassanid Dynasty's expansionist tendencies across Arabia in pre-Islamic eras. On the territorial level, Iran has imposed the right to navigation in Shat Al Arab, its eastern borders with Iraq and has extended this by crossing into Iraq's territory. In addition, it has claimed sovereignty over three of UAE's islands in the Arabia Gulf. In terms of ideological expansion, Iran has been actively promoting Shi'ism and exporting its revolutionary ideology since 1979. It has actively supported Hezbollah in Lebanon and other Shi' movements across Arabia reviving old Sunni-Shi' animosities. Iran has pursued a process of destabilization in Arab countries such as Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Lebanon. It has substantiated its territorial and ideological claims with a commitment to nuclear arms. Iran has fully constructed a nuclear program which aims at producing nuclear weapons seeking to impose its dominance over regional affairs, therefore, prompting a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. In order to counter the threat, Arab countries led by Saudi Arabia have been actively confronting Iran in different fronts, in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Yemen, to name a few. However, at this point this far reaching confrontation with Iran is only assembling, but it is expected to develop at a certain period of time into a direct confrontation between the two sides, which will destabilize the entire region.
Date of Award2015
Original languageAmerican English


  • Iran
  • Iran Project
  • Ideology
  • territorial expansion
  • Gulf Cooperation Council

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