Reflections

Iran and the GCC Still Have a Gulf Between Them

Mar 31, 2017 | 02:23 GMT
Iran and the GCC Still Have a Gulf Between Them
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir attends a meeting of GCC foreign ministers in Riyadh on Thursday.
(FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images)

Relations between Iran and most members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have long been uneasy. They have been especially tense since the Saudi Embassy in Tehran was attacked in January 2016 after Riyadh executed Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr. Now, however, it seems that the GCC may be testing the idea of mending fences with Iran. On Thursday, at the 142nd meeting of the bloc's Ministerial Council in Riyadh, foreign ministers from across the GCC discussed holding a strategic dialogue with Iran. The proposal, combined with the flurry of diplomatic activity between Tehran and the GCC's member governments over the past four months, could herald the start of a slow and selective rapprochement -- even if it's only on a state-by-state basis and doesn't solve the broader strategic issues between them....

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