Political analysts and academicians discussed Iran’s continued attempts to export its internal crises, and focused on the three main crises Iran is experiencing, which were: Tehran’s inability to produce a political or economic model as a country, the identity crisis due its reliance on the national religious complex (Iranian Shiite), and the crisis of building a power model where the flaw lies within Iran’s unilateral perspective of power, which is limited to “hard power” and discounting other forms of power.

This was at the second panel of the fourth Abu Dhabi Strategic Debate, titled “Fires and Flames in the Middle East: Decoding Iran”. The participants were: Dr. Khalid Al-Dakhil, academician and professor of political sociology at King Saud university in Riyadh, Dr. Mohsen Milani, executive director of the Center for Strategic & Diplomatic Studies at the University of South Florida, Alex Vatanka, senior fellow at the Middle East Institute in Washington, and Dr. Sultan Al Nuaimi, expert on Iranian affairs and faculty member of the University of Abu Dhabi.

Some of the panelists also found that Iran actions in the region were a result of confusing defensive and offensive strategies, without having a clear vision. Yet others found that Iran’s behaviour was quite clear; however, it was the Arab’s strategy that was missing in the face of Iran’s behaviour, as influential countries such as Egypt and Maghreb Countries did not take a decisive stance towards Iran’s policies in the region. Meanwhile, Iran is trying to export its “revolutionary model” to its neighbouring countries as a defensive strategy, because it feels a threat to its existence.

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