How much influence does Iran have over its proxies? (Defense One)


    How much influence does Iran have over its proxies? – By Sarah Harmouch and Nakissa Jahanbani (The Convseration) / Jan 23, 2024

    Tehran calls Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Houthis its “Axis of Resistance”—but that’s not quite right.

    From attacks by rebels in the Red Sea to raids in northern Israel and the Oct. 7, 2023, assault by Hamas, Western analysts have pointed a finger of blame toward Iran.

    Regardless of how involved Tehran is directly in the planning and carrying out of such incidents, the accusations get at a broader truth: In Middle Eastern geopolitics, Iran’s strategy of aligning with violent nonstate actors—notably Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Houthis in Yemen—influences the regional balance of power.

    As experts in Iran’s relationship with its network of proxies, we understand that Iran’s connection with each group is distinct yet interlinked, revealing Tehran’s regional objectives. From southern Lebanon to Gaza to Yemen, these alliances shape the political landscape and highlight the nature of influence and control in proxy warfare. It serves as a counterweight to Iran’s relatively limited conventional military capabilities, forming a key part of its foreign policy.

    Managed by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Iran’s paramilitary security service that answers only to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, these regional groups form what Tehran has labeled the Axis of Resistance.



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