Webinar Report: Iran’s Regional Influence and Illicit Arms

On 8 April 2021, the Bussola Institute, in partnership with the Atlantic Council, hosted a webinar addressing Iran’s regional policies in relation to small arms and illicit weapons. These policies are widely considered to be the product of a number of competing priorities centred around the ideology of Iran’s Islamic revolution and the perception of threats to the regime from external interests.  Iran supports and supplies a range of armed non-state actors as part of its foreign policy objectives. The extent and impact of the security threats have been established in the recently released report by the Atlantic Council, A Guide to Illicit Iranian Weapon Transfers: The Bahrain File, authored by Tim Michetti. The report highlights the necessity of developing transparent monitoring systems in the Gulf region for stopping illicit weapons transfers.  This webinar examined what actions could be taken to support regional and international measures to address the threats posed by illicit weapons transfers in the Gulf. As the US administration considers re-joining the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), a range of confidence-building measures will be necessary in the pursuit of regional cohesion. This webinar explored how the EU can work with Gulf states in support of effective security measures for the region. 

The experts for the panel included: 

  • Tim Michetti, Investigative researcher of illicit weapons transfer and author of the report A Guide to Illicit Iranian Weapon Transfers: The Bahrain File, published by the Atlantic Council.
  • Rasha Al Joundy, Senior Researcher for Gulf Affairs, b’huth – Dubai Public Policy Research Centre, Dubai.
  • Dr Richard Burchill, Senior Research Fellow, Bussola Institute, Brussels.

 The webinar was moderated by Mr John Dennehy, Secretary-General of the Bussola Institute.