Chatham House Report

Author: 

Middle East Programme, Chatham House

Iran, its Neighbours and the Regional Crises

The report is produced by the Middle East Programme with significant contributions from other regional and thematic programmes at Chatham House.

This report seeks to shed light on what the regional crises - the Iranian nuclear dispute, the instability of Iraq, the Israel-Hizbullah conflict and the deteriorating situation in the West Bank and Gaza - illustrate about Iran's relations with its neighbours.

The following questions are examined:

  • How strong is Iran's position and how is it shaped?
  • What factors are motivating the alliances and positioning taking place between Iran and its neighbours in the Middle East and Asia?
  • How do Iran's neighbours view its pursuit of nuclear technology?
  • What reactions can be expected within the region if the US uses military force in attempting to control Iran's nuclear and regional ambitions?

Many in the West have failed to appreciate the complexities of Iran, its deep ties with its neighbours and its long-practised ability to influence its neighbourhood. The resolution of the many crises afflicting Iran's region will partly require an improvement in Iran's relations with the West through careful and patient diplomacy on both sides. Iran's intricate involvement in these crises and its selfconfidence means that confrontation carries serious risks.