Iran's Influence Revolution

Proxies and Power Politics in the Middle East

In the latest installment of our Disrupting Democracy series, the Bertelsmann Foundation has created a collection of new digital animations examining how regional powers in Europe, Asia and the Middle East use specialized tools to project influence in their respective neighborhoods.

Last month, we shared the story of Russian disinformation in Georgia. Today, we'll give you a glimpse into how Iran leverages its assets to destabilize its region. We'll round out the year with a look at China and the tactics that are shaping the new international order.

After Iran’s revolution of 1979, a few concepts emerged as unshakable creed, including opposition to the United States, Israel, and a belief that armed struggle was the way forward. Meanwhile, Islamists that took power in Tehran believed that the message of the 1979 revolution was not limited to its borders. The model they created would prove to have a long shelf life and remain expedient in decades to come.

Our new animation, created in partnership with the Middle East Institute, takes you on a journey through the streets of Tehran to explore the history, ideology and goals of Iran's proxy militia tactics in the Middle East.


Anthony T. Silberfeld

Director, Transatlantic Relations
Bertelsmann Foundation