SENAY EMMANUEL WRITES — Final month, Arab leaders held an emergency summit in Mecca to deal with threats offered by Iran, following assaults on oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates. Whereas Saudi Arabia described the assaults as “bare aggression,” Iran denied having something to do with them.
One attending head of presidency on the emergency assembly obtained a number of consideration – Qatari PM Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser Al Thani. Regardless of the existence of a large-scale financial and political blockade on Qatar by many Arab nations, Saudi Arabia prolonged an invite in order to spotlight the rhetoric of each Saudi Arabia and UAE stressing the significance of a unified Arab and Gulf stance towards Iran.
Mission not completed. Following the emergency Gulf assembly, there was no indication that the Gulf states had drawn nearer. One level of disagreement between Qatar and the opposite Gulf states: the concluding statements of the GCC and Arab League (AL); two days later, the Qatari authorities asserted that the GCC/AL stance was too harsh towards Iran.
So regardless of the will for unity, Saudi Arabia and UAE failed to ascertain a united entrance in countering Iranian affect. Numerous geopolitical forces at play basically forestall these GCC nations from agreeing on the right way to tackle the present regional political state of affairs. Moreover, the Gulf States’ complete blockade of Qatar suggests to the remainder of the world that the Saudis and Emiratis are actually not critical about incorporating Qatar into their decision-making.
Then once more, the issue additionally lies in Qatar’s middle-of-the-road stance, as marked by its want to: preserve relations with Iran, enhance relations with the GCC and on the identical time work with different allies, together with america. That is incompatible with the Saudi and UAE place condemning Iran. Latest assaults on oil tankers within the Gulf of Oman, plus the assault on an airport in Saudi Arabia— allegedly by Iran and the Iranian backed Houthi rebels, respectively—make Qatar’s moderating stance unjustifiable to the opposite states, and extremely unlikely to result in cooperation.
Ultimately, it appears, Iran would possibly nicely get what it desires: A fractured Gulf over which it could actually exert its affect within the area.
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