The US Office of the Director of National Intelligence recently released its annual threat assessment, in which Iran is mentioned no fewer than 60 times as part of a “diverse array of threats” facing the US. Iran is moving toward its goal of full domination of Iraq and the expulsion of the last remaining US forces from that country, a result that would represent a great success for the Islamic Republic.
The annual threat assessment released in April by the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence states that “Iran will remain a regional menace with broader malign influence activities.” The Islamic Republic is expected to continue those malign activities all over the globe, but its focus will likely remain its immediate regional surroundings—particularly Iraq. Tehran views Iraq as a key country over which it must establish and maintain complete supremacy.
Iran has been a highly troublesome actor in the Middle East ever since it was taken over by a religious dictatorship in 1979. Through its proxies as well as through other means, it has destabilized an already volatile region. Saudi Arabia and Israel have spent years expressing concern over Iran´s hegemonic ambitions, which also threaten the US and its allies.
Iran´s hateful anti-Israel rhetoric will continue for as long as the regime is in power. Tehran will maintain support for its proxies, like Hezbollah and Hamas, in order to threaten Israel and Israeli interests in the region. At the same time, the Islamic cold war between Saudi Arabia and Iran over dominance and power in the Middle East will also go on, leading to continued insecurity and instability in the region. The two countries are unlikely to engage in a full-blown war, but will rather fight one another in other parts of the Middle East.
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