Iran in the Middle East:

Building Bridges or Expanding Influence?

April 22, 2024

Monday, April 22, 2024
11:00 am AST - 12:15 pm AST


Iran’s influence in the Middle East has been a subject of intense scrutiny and analysis in recent years, as the country continues to play a pivotal role in shaping regional dynamics and global geopolitics. Situated at the crossroads of Asia, the Middle East, and Europe, Iran boasts a rich cultural heritage and a long history of regional influence. From historical trade routes to modern-day strategic alliances and conflicts, Iran’s actions and policies have far-reaching implications for the stability and security of the Middle East.

To explore Iran’s regional role and impact, the Middle East Council on Global Affairs (ME Council), in partnership with the Middle East Studies Forum (MESF) at Deakin University, hosted a webinar convening a panel of experts. This webinar also marked the launch of the ME Council’s “Iran in the Middle East: Building Bridges or Expanding Influence?” dossier. The publication examines key factors framing Iran’s regional strategies, considering its historical legacies, ideological orientations, strategic interests, and political aspirations. Panelists explored key questions such as: How is the war on Gaza shaping Tehran’s regional policies? How has Iran’s ‘look east’ policy defined its relationship with its neighbors? What is the status of the nuclear talks and can Iran chart a path forward? Against the backdrop of rising global and regional tensions, what is the future of Iran’s relations with the region?


Nonresident Senior Fellow


Mehran Kamrava
Professor, Georgetown University in Qatar
Azadeh Zamirirad
Deputy Head of Africa and the Middle East, German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP)
Nonresident Fellow