The Arab uprisings of a decade ago threatened to redraw the political map of the Middle East and North Africa region, and set in motion forces that as first sight appeared to be out of the control of ruling regimes, dominant regional powers, and external interested parties. Within the region, the one country whose policies and behaviour was profoundly influenced by the early-2010s uprisings was the Islamic Republic of Iran. Iran’s mood music swung between a celebration of the Arab ‘Islamic awakening’ and euphoria about Iran’s new geopolitical opportunities, to the need and duty to mobilise in defence of the Assad presidency in Syria and the protection of the ‘resistance front’. What determined Iran’s policies in the uprisings and how the uprisings shaped Iran’s regional role and political posture will form the body of this lecture.
Sponsored in association with Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali, Founder and Chair, Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute
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