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One of the major reasons behind assassination of General Qasim Soleimani in US attack on Jan 3, 2020, was that he had projected Iranian hard and soft power in different parts of the world particularly in the Middle East. He was recognized as the architect of Iran's influence and presence from Lebanon to Syria, Iraq to Yemen and Bahrain. That is why, the killing of Qassem Soleimani has considered as an enormous setback to the country’s regional ambitions. This study is mainly focusing on utilization of hard and soft power by revolutionary ran as foreign policy tools especially in the Middle East. American war in Iraq (2003) and Hezbollah-Israel war of 2006 have provided Islamic Republic of Iran with an opportunity to expand its power in the Middle East in general and Lebanon in particular; King Abdullah of Jordan predicted that as “Shi’a Crescent” in 2004. Iran’s successful resurgence is widely misperceived as sole reliance on hard power and Shi’a proxies and partners. This study argues that it’s the effective use of “smart power” and complementary synergy between soft and hard power tactics, which has led to consolidation of Iranian influence in the countries like Lebanon. Hezbollah as the tool of Iran’s hard power is being supported by soft power tactics like Education, Media, cultural diplomacy and bonyads (Foundations). The study also argues that Iranian success in Lebanon in terms of hard power greatly lies with its ideological inspiration for Hezbollah both for institution of Vilayat-e-Faqih and Iran’s regional ambitions and being sole supporter for its followers.
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