Iran using religious indoctrination to gain influence in Georgia

Media outlets and research centers of the world write a lot about Iran’s expansionary policies in the Middle East. In fact, Iran’s hegemonic tendencies in the region are a matter of serious concern and should be studied in-depth.

However, few in the global media and the wider research community pay adequate attention to Iran’s growing interference in South Caucasus. This region has three important former Soviet republics: Georgia — which has complicated relations with Russia and has taken the path of European integration; Christian Armenia — which is an ally of Russia, Turkey and Israel as well as has the highest percentage of Shiite population after Iran – and secular Azerbaijan.

Each of these countries is of specific interest for Tehran. Iranian authorities have to act selectively and more carefully than they did in the Middle East, for a number of reasons.

This article focuses on Iranian approach towards Georgia, which is a small country in South Caucasus. According to official data in 2014, the population of Georgia (without the provinces, which are not controlled by Tbilisi) officially stands at 3.7 million..

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April 3, 2018, “Al Arabiya”