Controversies over the Spread of Iranian Shi’ite Influence: Six October City


ELİK S.

Dumlupınar Sosyal Bilimler Dergisi, no.29, pp.213-224, 2011 (National Refreed University Journal)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Title of Journal : Dumlupınar Sosyal Bilimler Dergisi
  • Page Numbers: pp.213-224

Abstract

Since the Islamic revolution, Arab states have failed to limit Iran's religious influence in the Arab public sphere which has dramatically polarised the "Arab Street". Iran's regional strategy is aimed at using the Palestinian issue as a political card and playing a key role in both Iraqi and Afghan issues. The backlash and failure of Nasser's Pan-Arabism policy gave Iran a host of new tools, including cooperation, co-optation, as well as ideological and financial means, which had been especially effective in the Levant but are now manifesting themselves in Sixth of October City, Egypt. Iran's another political card is Shi'a used for the strategy of obtaining of influence to gain a foothold, mobilized powerful clerical opposition and the state-controlled media campaign, especially in Egypt. Iran's regional policy also introduces certain advantages for negating strategy such as allowing Tehran to create a diversion from its nuclear programme or to block Anglo-U.S. projects in Iraq. Egypt considers the Iranian-Shi'a-Hezbollah relationship as a way of actively engaging the American and Israeli strategy of containment that will be changing the balance in the region. The regional instability strategy of the Iranian regime, in terms of IRGC, appearing as so called 'covert activities' in Sixth of October City brings a new dimension to Iranian-Egyptian relations as well as the wider Middle East. In connection with IR theory, this article investigates how the regional strategy of Iran in a small province of Egypt provide a global security scope, as well as the relative impact of the U.S. regional strategy in the securitizing of the domestic politics of Arab regimes. This article does not aim to demonstrate anti-Shia or anti- Iranian sentiment but check the rational and sociatical basis of Arab national security perspective against Iranian influence in the region.