The Great Game in West Asia: Iran, Turkey and the South Caucasus


The Great Game in West Asia examines the strategic competition between Iran and Turkey for power and influence in the South Caucasus. These neighboring Middle East powers have vied for supremacy throughout the region, while contending with ethnic heterogeneity within their own territories and across their borders. Turkey has long conceived of itself as not just a bridge between Asia and Europe but as a central player in regional and global affairs. Iran’s parallel ambitions for strategic centrality have only been masked by its own inarticulate foreign policy agendas and the repeated missteps of its revolutionary leaders. But both have sought to deepen their regional influence and power, and in the South Caucasus each has achieved a modicum of success. As much of the world’s attention has been diverted to conflicts near and far, a new ‘great game’ has been unravelling between Iran and Turkey in the South Caucasus.

Mehran Kamrava