How Hezbollah widens Iran’s Middle East reach

Iran is spreading its influence — verging on a controlling influence in some cases — over the affairs of Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen.

Starting with Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Islamic Republic has been seeking to export its revolutionary ideology and expand its influence beyond its borders ever since the return of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to Tehran in 1979.

Hezbollah has played an important role in conflicts in both of those countries, fighting alongside Syrian forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and assisting Iraqi Shia militias.

Today, “Iran is embedding itself in the evolving Syrian government and informal security structures… enhancing its threat to Israel”.