Saudi Arabia and the New Power System in the Persian Gulf

Document Type : Research Paper



The events of September 11 and the subsequent US occupation of Iraq changed the power system in the Persian Gulf that provided for the alliance of six Persian Gulf Cooperation Council’s countries along with the United States versus Iran and Iraq as two countries singled out of the system. This made the region enter a new stage of power interactions. On this basis, the Persian Gulf region is currently in a state of transition and the new power system has not been fully formed and established yet. Under the new circumstances, this article seeks to answer the question that what comprises the parameters of the new power system in the Persian Gulf. Also, what will be the place of Saudi Arabia as the most prominent GCC member in the system? To reply to the question, the author is of the belief that the place of Saudi Arabia and its significance in the US regional strategy will decline from the superior status and will be replaced by the small regional countries along with the new Iraq, due to the extended domestic dissatisfaction in Saudi Arabia with US extensive military presence, the rise of Islamic fundamentalism and the formation of alternative actors like Iraq and the United Arab Emirates. Therefore, the most likely situation in the region in the future will involve the establishment of a system based on the alliance of the small Persian Gulf countries along with Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the United States vis-à-vis the Islamic Republic of Iran as the only actor outside the alliance.


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