You are here

A Fragile Balance: Iran’s internal politics and regional challenges

May 27,2024 - Last updated at May 27,2024

The death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi will trigger a phase of political competition within the hawkish bloc in Iran. Raisi, who was a pivotal figure in Iranian politics over the last five years, not only initiated the shift toward extremism and replaced key positions in the country but was also the potential successor to Khamenei.

His sudden death will plunge the country into critical times. Over the coming 50 days, Iran will hold elections for a new president, as well as a restructuring of the entire political scene.

Iran is facing serious internal challenges, including security threats from ongoing operations inside the country and widespread economic and social frustration, as the roots of nationwide protests that recently swept through the country are still present.

Simultaneously, the regional challenges Iran faces are escalating.

The battle of Rafah is ongoing, limiting Hamas’ options and potentially leading to an escalation involving Hizbollah in southern Lebanon. The Iranian presence in Syria also presents significant challenges.

However, the upcoming elections require Iran to turn much of its attention inward as the forthcoming competition will be within the same political bloc.

It might no longer be a competition between reformists and extremists, meaning that the slogans, statements and regional policies of Iran may not change significantly.

While the incident involving the Iranian President shifts attention to the internal scene, the war in Gaza remains at the centre of the regional stage.

Israel’s gradual operation in Rafah is ongoing and could have implications for other areas, including the rest of Gaza, the West Bank and even Lebanon.

Politically, the pressure on Israel is increasing, with ICC arrest warrants issued for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant, and the recognition of a Palestinian state by Spain, Ireland and Norway.

Although this diplomatic step might seem significant, its practical impact on the ground is debatable.

Some will argue that it brings the resolution of the Palestinian issue back to the forefront and represents a historic breakthrough.

However, realistically, we must consider what is needed to stop the war and lay the foundation for regional peace.

This step could have negative impacts, particularly in terms of Israel’s reaction towards the Palestinian Authority and the West Bank.

For example, Israeli Defence Minister Gallant declared the end of restrictions barring Israelis from areas of the northern West Bank that Israel pulled out of 19 years ago.

Unfortunately, the time left for this American administration is running out without any serious or concrete achievements.

Simultaneously, the administration’s interest in brokering a peace agreement between Saudi Arabia and Israel might not be a priority for either country.

Israel’s priorities are linked to its security and the open fronts it faces from Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria and even Iran.

Therefore, pushing for peace without concrete solutions on the ground could just worsen and complicate the situation.

49 users have voted.

Add new comment

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.


Get top stories and blog posts emailed to you each day.