This article is published as part of the Small Wars Journal and Divergent Options Writing Contest which runs from March 1, 2019 to May 31, 2019.
While Bahrain was expected to only remain a secondary theater for Iran within the near future (as opposed to primary theaters such as Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon), the low cost and burden of continuing such supportive action for Shi’a militant groups means the support would likely continue. Advances made by Iran and its proxies regionally could serve to increase Iranian support vis-à-vis Bahraini extremist groups, particularly as the IRGC’s influence within Iran rises.
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There are many competing factors involved in this crisis which could create challenges to regional security should diplomatic tools fail to solve their differences.