Iran and CEA have historically close links going back as far as the sixth century BC when the Persian Achaemenid Empire conquered the region. For a long time, Persian was the main language of the elite in CEA. Since the disintegration of the USSR, Iran has been determined to re-strengthen its position in CEA, particularly in economic and security terms. Iran is an active player in the Economic Co-operation Organization (ECO). It also promotes the construction of southern pipelines from CEA to export the region's oil and gas resources as it hopes to profit from it for its own oil and gas export. However, it has to be noted that Iran in no way is a dominant player in the region. The rivalry between the various political factions of the Iranian political elite - the Conservative Traditional Right (Rast-e Sonati), Traditionalist left (Chap-e Sonati), Revolutionary or New Left or Hizbollah, Conservative Modern Right Rast-e Modern - leads to incoherence in Iran's foreign policy and makes Iran an unreliable actor to cooperate with not only the countries of CEA but also for other countries interested in the region (i.e., the United States, European Union, Turkey, Russia, China, Saudi Arabia). Additionally, the great national economic problems in Iran are an obstacle for Iran to become more active economically in CEA.