Middle East And North Africa
The contrast between richly endowed oil-and-gas economies and resource-poor countries is an important marker in the region. Its strategic location between the East and West, along with its energy wealth, make it vulnerable to the clashing policies and interests of local and global powers, including the United States, Europe and Russia. Foreign interventions tend to exacerbate local conflicts.
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The socioeconomic cost of Iran’s hegemony
Over the last decades, Iran has expanded its influence in the Middle East not only for the sake of boosting its geopolitical relevance but also as a way to protect itself against real and perceived foes. But the buffer states controlled by Tehran have greatly suffered from this state of affairs, as various economic indicators show.