8 keys to Iran’s plan to dominate the Middle East economically and socially

The Iranian Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei (WANA/Reuters) (WANA NEWS AGENCY/)

He Iran regimeemboldened internationally by its alliances with China and Russia, has launched a plan to establish itself as a power in the Middle East and translate its regional hegemony in more countries in the area, where it is already advancing in Syria and Lebanon.

Udi Levian expert on global finance and foreign policy, detailed Iran’s plans in an article published in Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Securityand stressed the need for the United States and the West to reassess “immediately” their policies towards Iran in light of the Persian advance and “its campaign to seize the cultural, economic and social spheres” of countries such as Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.

1. Expansive strategic ambitions:

Iran’s strategic plan not only covers military and terrorist activities, but also aims to reshape societies and cultures of certain countries in the Middle East to align them with Iranian values. This includes Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.

“Military activity and terrorist activity by Iranian militias against Israel and US forces it is the tip of the iceberg of the broader strategic activity of seizing everything as such and changing the face of society and culture of countries to make them like Iran”, warned the author.

According to him, classified documents from the Iranian presidential office detail the country’s intentions to acquire important economic assets, control the land and banking systems and induce cultural and social changes in Syria and Lebanon, which poses a significant threat to Western interests and allies. .

2. The reaction to the sanctions

Levi’s article frames the situation in Western failures in its relations with Iran, Lebanon and Syria, especially in the “colossal failure” of the imposition of economic sanctions that have allowed Iran not only to survive economically, but also to channel its resources towards the advancement of its strategic objectives.

In this scenario, Iran takes advantage of government vacuums and gaps in Western influence to expand its presence, often in collaboration with China and Russia, posing a long-term strategic threat to Middle East stability.

3. The campaign is already underway

Iran’s efforts to extend its influence started in 2014, initially centered around his military intervention in Syria. Over time, it was expanded to include various measures aimed at shaping Syria’s internal landscape and connecting it more closely with Iran.

The Syrian economic takeover plan was orchestrated by the Revolutionary Guardin particular by Hatem al-Anbiya, a major financial arm known for supporting Iran’s nuclear program, ballistic missile development and terrorist activities.

Parade of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, key arm of international progress (AFP)
Parade of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, key arm of international progress (AFP)

4. Economic control and agreements:

Iran’s economic influence in Syria extends to the acquisition of strategic assetssuch as oil, minerals, agriculture and tourism. Iran has also received permission to mine uranium on Syrian territory.

The Iran-Syria deal allows Tehran access to Syrian ports to export oil and goods, as well as build new ports on the Mediterranean coast. This economic deal is not limited to debt repayment, but also includes clauses related to Iranian-owned agricultural farms and control of Damascus’ cellular communications system.

“Syria will transfer to Iran several oil fields on its territory (in the Arak area) and will produce 50 million barrels of oil,” Levi stressed.

5. Deepen cultural influence:

Iran intends to bring about demographic changes in Syria, including the acquisition of Syrian real estate. It intends to replace investors from the Gulf States with Iranian “businessmen”.

The integration and cultural influence are critical components of the Iranian plan, including developing tourism, enhancing academic cooperation, and changing Lebanese public opinion regarding Iranian culture and values. “It seems that behind the idea of ​​taking over the tourism sector is the desire for many flights between Iran and Syria to deepen cultural and social ties and increase Iranian influence in Syria,” the author analyzed.

6. Economic transformation of Lebanon:

Iran’s ambitions for Lebanon are beyond Syriawith a broader and more significant reach. Iran intends take advantage of the current crisis and chaos in Lebanon to start up a social and cultural revolution that ultimately turns Lebanon into an Iranian protectorate.

Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian (via Reuters)
Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian (via Reuters) (HEZBOLLAH MEDIA OFFICE/)

Economic and cultural connections are being established between Lebanon and Iran, including connecting their electricity systems, promoting green energy, and increasing Iranian exports that bring foreign currency to Lebanon.

7. Go on to control Iraq and the drug market

Iran’s activities also extend to Iraqa country that serves as strategic military base and economic acquisition target. Iran “has almost completely taken control of Iraq’s financial and banking sector,” making it easier to circumvent US sanctions.

In addition, Iran is implicated in the distribution of counterfeit drugs and pharmaceuticals, especially Captagonfor destabilize countries like Jordan, Türkiye and Saudi Arabiagenerating significant revenue and posing a strategic threat.

8. Global implications:

The article stresses that “Iran’s long-term goals in the Middle East go beyond regional dynamics and affect global stability. Iran’s multifaceted campaign for cultural, economic and social influence exploits the vulnerabilities of Western and Arab states, potentially paving your way to acquiring a nuclear weapon”.

As Levi remarked, the emergence of a “Shia corridor” in the region, combined with already existing alliances such as those of China and Russiaposes major challenges to Western countries, Israel and the Gulf States, with possible implications for international geopolitics.

“Under the cover of the war in Ukraine and away from the media, Iran is realizing the dream of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who spoke in March 2006 about the “Middle East” – that is, the Arab world – as if it were “the strategic depth of the Iranian people and their revolution.”