Foreign Policy Blogs

Iran and the Arab World: An Update

It is no secret that Arab governments have long worried about Iran’s growing influence in the region and they are trying to limit Iranian influence among its population.  Here are some of the current news stories that highlight this tense relationship between Arab countries and Iran:

  • Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA) reported that Arabsat, leading satellite services provider in the Arab world, has once again removed Iran’s Arabic-language news television network Al-Alam from the air. According to Al-Alam, Arabsat measure has been taken under pressures by Saudi Arabia and Egypt. The network was removed once before from the air in November 2009 by Arabsat and Cairo-based Nilesat. ISNA described Al-Alam as “among the few satellite networks in the region that supports resistance and revealed the contradiction in information policies of regional countries and particularly Persian Gulf States during Israel’s invasion against Lebanon and Gaza.”
  • Today, in Baghdad, a gunman opened fire at two buses carrying Iranian pilgrims, killing an Iranian woman and an Iraqi driver. The Iranian tourists were on a pilgrimage to the holy shrine of the Shiites’ seventh Imam. According to the Fars News Agency, Iran and Iraq’s deputy foreign ministers for consulate affairs will meet in Tehran for a 2-day meeting to explore ways to resolve the problems faced by the two countries’ nationals and pilgrims. As the Khaleej times reported that overall sectarian violence has fallen sharply almost seven years after the U.S. invasion, but attacks by suspected Sunni Islamist insurgents aimed at undermining the Shia-led government ahead of the election continue.


Sahar Zubairy

Sahar Zubairy recently graduated from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas- Austin with Masters in Global Policy Studies. She graduated from Texas A&M University with Phi Beta Kappa honors in May 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics. In Summer 2008, she was the Southwest Asia/Gulf Intern at the Henry L. Stimson Center, where she researched Iran and the Persian Gulf. She was also a member of a research team that helped develop a website investigating the possible effects of closure of the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf by Iran.

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