The recent war between Israel and the Lebanese Hezbollah and the growing possibility of confrontation between Iran and the United States over Tehran’s nuclear ambitions has marked a new era in the history of Middle East, which now seems to be sailing into another stormy sea of violence.
Much of the recent rise of conflict is due to the emergence of Iraq’s Shia majority and Iran’s growing power with the fall of Saddam’s regime, which has upset the sectarian (Sunni-Shia) balance in the Middle East. In his project report, Dr. Babak Rahimi will analyze the role of Ayatollah Sistani, the most revered grand ayatollah in the Shia world, as both a moderating force in peacemaking and democratization of Iraq, and, secondarily, as a moderating force for the Greater Middle East.
- Babak Rahimi
Senior Fellow, U.S. Institute of Peace