Iran’s power play in the Middle East

“An agreement to be successful is going to require that the regional states feel reassured that this agreement is not at their expense.”

In an interview with War and Peace Talk on 3 April 2015, Dr Patrick Clawson (The Washington Institute) assesses the regional repercussions an agreement between the US and Iran on nuclear non-proliferation might have. While the the negotiations have encouraged Iran to assume a more decisive foreign policy in the Middle East, Dr Clawson argues that Iran’s military setback in Iraq against ISIS and the Civil War in Yemen are potent counterexamples of the country’s brash stance.

Even if a nuclear agreement with Iran came through, Dr Clawson contends, the US needs to counterbalance the possibility of a quick pull-out by the Iranians at any point by reassuring other states that Iran’s “destabilizing activities in the region” won’t be tolerated.

The interview was conducted during Dr Clawson’s visit to the Netherlands to partake in a panel on ‘Fuel for conflict: The impact of the plunging oil price on geopolitics in the Middle East’ as part of the Henriette van Lynden lecture series organized by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.