As you may have heard, things are changing rapidly in the Middle East. Libya is in flames, Egypt staggers uneasily under military rule, and throughout the region political structures of enduring stability now creak and totter as the ground trembles beneath them. Meanwhile, the U.S. position is shifting too: we are soon to withdraw from Iraq (having come up short of our goals there), our relations with Pakistan are near the breaking point, and our presence in the Persian Gulf is complicated by events unfolding, particularly, in Bahrain.
What Mideastern nation, if any, seems entirely immune to this epidemic of political unrest? What nation gains the most from America’s withdrawal from Iraq? What nation will find it easiest to intimidate its neighbors by the strength of its military? What nation’s interests are best advanced by the conflagration of political and ethnic instability in the region? What nation is best positioned to inflame it further?
The answers are Iran, Iran, Iran, Iran, and Iran — as STRATFOR’s George Friedman explains in this penetrating analysis.