Iran and the GCC Countries: between Confrontation and Dialogue

112
DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2020-64-7-80-88
N. Kozhanov (n.a.kozhanov@gmail.com),
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation

Abstract. The article examines the development of relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) and the member countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Iran’s strained relations with the Arab monarchies of the Gulf are often perceived as their natural state. This implies that a hidden or overt conflict based on deep ideological, political and cultural contradictions is the backbone of the entire complex of relations between Iran and its neighbors in the Persian Gulf. However, in reality, the situation looks different. Thus, the current attempts of Riyadh to unite other GCC members against Tehran are only partially successful. While the UAE and Bahrain authorities actively support anti-Iranian steps and rhetoric of the Saudi leadership, Oman, Kuwait and Qatar show considerable interest in maintaining at least neutral good-neighborly relations with Tehran. At the same time, while Doha’s desire to develop a dialogue with Iran is largely forced and is due to the fact that without Iranian support, the country can be completely isolated, the interest of the Omani and Kuwaiti leaders in maintaining good relations with Tehran is defined by much deeper, historically determined motives. Moreover, over the past decades, periods of sharp cooling in relations between Iran and all the Arab monarchies of the Persian Gulf region have alternated with active mutual attempts to develop a model that could ensure sustainable cooperation between Iran and the GCC. Under these circumstances, it makes sense to talk about the existence of at least two conflicting trends in Iranian relations with the GCC countries. On the one hand, the understanding that maintaining a certain level of stability in the Persian Gulf requires establishing good-neighborly relations pushes the leadership of Iran and the GCC countries towards a constructive dialogue. On the other hand, the regional ambitions of Iran and Saudi Arabia inevitably lead to periodic clashes between the two countries in their struggle for influence in the Middle East, inevitably involving other GCC countries in this struggle. The American presence in the region, as well as internal contradictions between the GCC members are additional factors determining specifics of Iran’s relation with the Arab monarchies of the Persian Gulf.

Keywords: Iran, GCC, Iran-Saudi relations, Iran-Qatar relations, Iran-Emirate relations, Islamic Revolution, Persian Gulf


REFERENCES 

1. Vakil S. Iran and the GCC: Hedging, Pragmatism and Opportunism. London, Chatham House, 2018. 19 p.

2. Anthony J.D. Strategic Dynamics of Iran – GCC Relations. Industrialization in the Gulf. Seznec J-F., Kirk M., ed. London, Routledge, 2010, pp. 78-102.

3. Khomeini R. Last Political Will. Tehran, 1369. 50 p. (In Persian)

4. Motovilov Yu. Osobennosti vyrabotki I osushchestvleniya regional’ noipolitiki Islamskoi Respubliki Iran v usloviyakh globalizatsii [Specific Aspects of Development and Implementation of the Foreign Policy of Islamic Republic of Iran in the Conditions of Globalizations]. Diss. Cand. (Polit.) Nizhnii Novgorod, Nizhegorodskii Gosudarstvennyi Universitet, 2005. 271 p.

5. Commins D. The Gulf States. A Modern History. London, I. B. Tauris, 2012. 318 p.

6. Sampson J. History of Persian Gulf States. Abidjan, Sonit Education Academy, 2016. 342 p.

7. Cronin S., Masalha N. The Islamic Republic of Iran and the GCC States: Revolution to Realpolitik? London, LSE, 2011. 43 p.

8. Yurtayev V. Osobennosti i Realizatciya Vneshney Politiki Islamskoy Resubliki Iran v 1979–2010 gg. [Specifics and Implementation of the Foreign Policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran] Diss. Doc. (Hist.). Moscow, RUDN, 2012. 439 p.

9. Fedorova I. Iran–SShA: Dialog i Protivostoyaniye [Iran–USA: Dialogue and Confrontation] Moscow, IV RAN, 2004. 143 p.

10. Cordesman A.H. Saudi Arabia and Iran. Washington, CSIS, 2001. 14 p.

11. Kozhanov N. Ekonomicheskiye Sanktsii Protiv Irana: Tseli, Masshtabi, Vozmozhniye Posledstviya Vvedeniya [Economic Sanctions against Iran: Goals, Scale and Possible Implications of their Implementation]. Moscow, Institut Blizhnego Vostoka, 2011. 268 p.

12. Parchami A. The “Arab Spring”: the View from Tehran. Contemporary Politics, 2012, vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 35-52.

13. Zweiri M. Revolutionary Iran and Arab Revolts: Observations on Iranian Foreign Policy and its Approaches. Doha, Arab Center for Research & Policy Studies, 2012. 16 p.

14. Sinkaya B. Implications of Arab Spring for Iran’s Policy towards the Middle East. Ortadogu Etutleri, 2015, vol. 2, no. 6, pp. 54-78.

15. Entessar N. A Regional Great Game? Iran – Saudi Relations in Flux. The Changing Security Dynamics of the Persian Gulf. Ulrichsen K. C., ed. London, Hurst, 2017, pp. 127-142.

16. Zaccara L. Iran and the Intra-GCC Crisis: Risks and Opportunities. Rome, IAI, 2019. 16 p.


Registered in System SCIENCE INDEX

For citation:
Kozhanov N. Iran and the GCC Countries: between Confrontation and Dialogue. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2020, vol. 64, No 7, pp. 80-88. https://doi.org/10.20542/0131-2227-2020-64-7-80-88



Comments (0)

No comments

Add comment







Indexed

 

 

 

 

Current Issue
2022, vol. 66, No. 11
Topical Themes of the Issue:
  • Developing Countries in the New Equation of the Post-Crisis World Order 
  • U.S. Public Diplomacy as a Tool for “Political Warfare” 
  • Central Europe: Possible Scenarios
  • The Collapse of the Global Consumption Model: in Search of Sustainability
  • Future Wars in Light of the Past Experience
Submit an Article
NEW SECTION

In response to the challenges of our time the Editorial board continues to open new thematic rubrics:

“World Energy Sector after Pandemic”. We plan to publish articles presenting in-depth analysis of influence of Pandemic on the global energy sector and forecasts of further developments in its various branches.