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The Rivalry between Iran and the GCC States in the Eurasian Context

Updated: Mar 16, 2022

Mehran Haghirian

Iran’s Bilateral Relations in the New Eurasian Context – (Ed.) Esfandyar Batmanghelidj

Middle East Insights, Middle East Institute (NUS) in partnership with Bourse & Bazaar


Iran does not view itself as a Middle Eastern country; instead, it views itself as a West Asian country. In recent years, it has reformulated its foreign policy strategy, taking advantage of its geostrategic position at the centre of the wider Eurasia to go beyond its pure focus on regional security and catch up with the fast developing political and economic trends in this multipolar continent. Likewise, the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) — Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — have come to realise that they cannot be left out of the growing trend towards co-operation and partnerships in Eurasia. Consequently, in developing their respective foreign policy strategies, Iran and the GCC member states, having long been in a struggle to achieve some sort of balance of power in the Persian Gulf region, must now also take into consideration the web of relations each has with players in Eurasia.

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