World Politics

The nuclear deal and its ramifications have added new elements of tensions between the Islamic Republic and the Gulf States. The lifting of the sanctions will be a significant addition to Iran’s financial capacity, which is likely to further Iran’s Involvement in Iraq, Syria and Yemen. With King Salman’s new foreign policy approach to the Middle East, more Iranian involvement in the region with the removal of the sanctions is probably going to complicate regional politics between the Iran and the Gulf States and will exasperate the competition for regional and international influence.

The Russian perception of the Arab Spring is one of a geopolitical power play, which explains Russia’s limited interest in Tunisia and Egypt compared to its heavy involvement in Syria. Russia is unlikely to concede to leaving Syria as Syria is the place for Russia to balance the Western powers in the region while simultaneously carving out an influence zone for its own foreign policy. Thus, understanding Russia’s approach to the Arab Uprisings is a key factor in analysing Russian presence in Syria and its regional foreign policy.

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