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Iran’s Pragmatic Foreign Policy in Response to Regional Crises: The Blockade Against Qatar

The 2017 Gulf Crisis.

Zweiri M., Rahman M.M., Kamal A. (eds)

Springer Nature (Palgrave Macmillan), 2020


Iran has time and again adapted its foreign policy in response to regional crises and sought to take advantage of disorder to advance its national interests. Looking at Iran’s response to Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990, its maneuvering with regards to Iraq after 2003, and its support for the 2011 uprisings in Bahrain, we can see that the Islamic Republic of Iran has had a varying and often unpredictable reaction to regional upheavals. The blockade that was imposed on Qatar in June 2017 was the latest region-wide crisis to expose the disunity within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and this prompted a pragmatic shift in Iran’s foreign policy.This chapter analyzes Iran’s foreign policy decision-making process with respect to the Persian Gulf region by looking at the level of pragmatism in its approach towards regional crises. The blockade is used as a case study to examine Iran’s policy shift towards Qatar, moving from rivalry to a practical and mutually beneficial relationship. With the objective of assessing the nature and durability of this revived relationship and its impact on regional politics, this chapter also delves into the State of Qatar’s post-conflict regional approach to enhancing its relations with Iran in order to guarantee the food security of its population, ensure an air-route for its leading international airline, and secure further regional diplomatic support for the country.

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