‘Across Pakistan, Iran wields its softest power’

Wastnidge, Edward (2014). ‘Across Pakistan, Iran wields its softest power’. IranWire.

URL: http://en.iranwire.com/features/5901/


With insecurity threatening to spill across the Middle East and the ongoing nuclear negotiations in Vienna barreling toward a July 20 deadline, the high politics of Iran’s role in the region are under great scrutiny. As a backdrop to these high profile conflicts, the Islamic Republic is quietly working away at its cultural diplomacy in sensitive nations around the world, fashioning soft power tools that are becoming increasingly important in terms of how Tehran seeks to wield its influence.

When it comes to Iranian cultural outreach, the immediate reference point is neighbouring Iraq, where Iran has considerable pull within the majority Shia community. But less well known is the network of Iranian influence that stretches to Shia communities as far as Pakistan.

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