This chapter traces the evolution and significance of the presence of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the Horn of Africa. Compared to other areas of Iran’s neighbourhood, Tehran’s power projection in this African subregion has largely remained under-researched. Yet, lately, foreign powers’ renewed interest in the Horn following the latter’s growing geostrategic relevance has contributed to reviving the academic debate related to it. By adopting a complex realist theoretical framework, the aim of this chapter is to explore the reasons why the Horn of Africa is a very coveted spot for many foreign powers, including Iran; which objectives have driven Tehran’s policies in that area; and how its élites have tried to pursue them over the past decades. To do so, after a brief overview of the Horn’s inherent value, the chapter first presents the core dimensions of the strategy Iran has devised to meet its interests there. Then, it moves onto the empirical research proper, consisting in a chronological, in-depth analysis of Iran’s actions in the Horn region, across the four main dimensions which constitute its Horn strategy: political support, military interactions, economic relations, and, to a lesser degree than in other African regions, ideological and soft power penetration. The empirical analysis reveals the complex web of global, regional, and domestic factors behind Iran’s Horn policies and the impossibility to separate the dynamics of Iran’s reach towards the Horn from those of its regional and extra-regional competitors.

Not All Plain Sailing: The Highs and Lows of Iran’s Scramble for the Horn of Africa / T. Corda (STUDIES IN IRANIAN POLITICS). - In: The Geopolitics of Iran / [a cura di] F.J. B. S. Leandro, C. Branco, F. Caba-Maria. - Prima edizione. - [s.l] : Palgrave Macmillan, 2021. - ISBN 978-981-16-3563-2. - pp. 485-529 [10.1007/978-981-16-3564-9_19]

Not All Plain Sailing: The Highs and Lows of Iran’s Scramble for the Horn of Africa

T. Corda
Primo
2021

Abstract

This chapter traces the evolution and significance of the presence of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the Horn of Africa. Compared to other areas of Iran’s neighbourhood, Tehran’s power projection in this African subregion has largely remained under-researched. Yet, lately, foreign powers’ renewed interest in the Horn following the latter’s growing geostrategic relevance has contributed to reviving the academic debate related to it. By adopting a complex realist theoretical framework, the aim of this chapter is to explore the reasons why the Horn of Africa is a very coveted spot for many foreign powers, including Iran; which objectives have driven Tehran’s policies in that area; and how its élites have tried to pursue them over the past decades. To do so, after a brief overview of the Horn’s inherent value, the chapter first presents the core dimensions of the strategy Iran has devised to meet its interests there. Then, it moves onto the empirical research proper, consisting in a chronological, in-depth analysis of Iran’s actions in the Horn region, across the four main dimensions which constitute its Horn strategy: political support, military interactions, economic relations, and, to a lesser degree than in other African regions, ideological and soft power penetration. The empirical analysis reveals the complex web of global, regional, and domestic factors behind Iran’s Horn policies and the impossibility to separate the dynamics of Iran’s reach towards the Horn from those of its regional and extra-regional competitors.
Iran; Africa; Horn; Red Sea; Gulf of Aden; West Asia
Settore SPS/04 - Scienza Politica
Settore SPS/06 - Storia delle Relazioni Internazionali
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/818100
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