Iran’s Growing Interests and Influence in Central Asia

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In early August, at the fourth trilateral summit between Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan held in Tehran, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad urged the leaders of the other two countries to join in an alliance to counterbalance NATO’s growing presence in Central Asia. Though any such formal alliance is unlikely, the declaration reflects Tehran’s desire to play a larger role in Central Asia’s regional dynamics. If Iran has always been geographically part of the regional context of Central Asia and the Caucasus, Tehran’s geopolitical orientation has historically been focused southward, on the Persian Gulf. For more than a century, Iranian interests in […]

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