Arab Perspectives on Iran’s Role in a Changing Middle East

While there is much talk of an “Arab” view of Iran, there are in fact significantly divergent views on Tehran’s role, even among rulers in the region. Additionally, despite the Sunni-Shiite divide, Arab public views of Iran and of its regional role are far more complex than—and often at odds with—the views of their leaders. This is  the second in a five-part series co-sponsored by the United States Institute of Peace and the Wilson Center’s Middle East program on “The Changing Security Architecture in the Middle East.”

This meeting was co-sponsored by the Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson Center and the United States Institute of Peace.

While there is much talk of an “Arab” view of Iran, there are in fact significantly divergent views on Tehran’s role, even among rulers in the region. Additionally, despite the Sunni-Shiite divide, Arab public views of Iran and of its regional role are far more complex than—and often at odds with—the views of their leaders. Even those Arab governments that fear Iran most and, in some cases, support American military actions to weaken Iran’s influence, differ markedly from Israel’s calculations and expectations.

Shibley Telhami presented his analysis and paper on this subject on February 21, 2012. This was the second in a five-part series co-sponsored by the United States Institute of Peace and the Wilson Center’s Middle East program on “The Changing Security Architecture in the Middle East.”

Learn more about this event series

Speakers

  • Daniel Brumberg, Introduction
    Senior Adviser, Center for Conflict Management
    U.S. Institute of Peace
  • Haleh Esfandiari, Moderator
    Director, Middle East Program
    Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars
  • Shibley Telhami,
    Anwar Sadat Professor for Peace and Development
    University of Maryland, College Park
  • Michele Dunne,
    Director
    Atlantic Council’s Rafik Harriri Center for the Middle East