The history of the Middle East shows that establishing peace and security in this crucial region has been the main priority of the regional countries and extra-regional powers. In the past half century, security arrangements devised for the region have failed because of ignoring some important factors in the region. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Middle East's security model which had been developed based on the Cold War requirements became obsolete leading to the intensification of disputes. On the other hand, security models arranged by the U.S. did not contribute to the Solution of regional security problems. Generally, all the security models which do not take account of the role of regional powers have no chance for success in this strategic region.

The Islamic Republic of Iran as a regional power has an important status in establishing security in the region and can play a constructive role in resolving regional conflicts through interaction with other involved parties. This article tries to study challenges facing security and peace in the Middle East. Having examined contentious issues as well as opportunities for bringing peace and security to the region, the author advances some propositions for devising a new security model for the Middle East with emphasis on Iran's role.

Source: Diplomatic Hamshahri, No 15, July 2007