Middle East Notes and Comment: Iran's Soft Power Creates Hard Realities
April 15, 2008
While U.S. public diplomacy appears to be withering in the Middle East, the Islamic Republic of Iran is on a tear. The country is exploiting an ever-widening array of instruments to build goodwill and strategic partnerships throughout the Muslim world and beyond. Even as it comes under growing pressure for its apparent pursuit of nuclear weapons capabilities and ongoing support for violent extremist groups in the region, Iran has successfully deployed an array of “soft power” instruments (including but not limited to media, trade and investment, local assistance, and cultural ties) to advance the country’s international agenda.