Although both the Arabs and the Iranians occupy the same geographical region, and the majority of them are members of the same religion, and they share a thousand years of history, the Iranian experience is different from the Arab one. Before looking at modern-day Iran, and examining what is taking place in Tehran, we should try to understand the special circumstances that affect Iran. Unlike the Arabs who are comprised of various nations and who number more than two hundred million people and are spread over two continents, the Iranians live in a single country, and speak a language that they share with only a few minorities beyond their borders.
It is therefore not difficult to understand why for two thousand years Iran has looked westwards to the Arab world and beyond as a way of escaping its single state cage. Expansion was an ambition of the Shah who built up his military arsenal to the point that Iran was recognized as the region's policeman, and had a large say in the issues of the Arab region. These ambitions were revived following the Islamic Revolution but under a different guise, the goal this time was external expansion in order to give Iran a large say in its [own] regional affairs.MORE HERE