It must be acknowledged that there is real threat of further escalation that may lead to large-scale hostilities. We believe such an outcome to be unacceptable. And so, we see the need for collective efforts to find consensus-based compromise solutions designed to reduce tensions and resolve all existing acute crises by political and diplomatic means based on international law. Russia maintains traditionally friendly relations with all the Gulf countries without exception, and advances interaction with them on the basis of equality and mutual respect. Back in the late s, under completely different geopolitical realities, Russia began to develop a Collective Security Concept for the Gulf.
2018 was year of highs and lows for Gulf countries
The ideas presented in the document have been updated several times and took on a whole new dimension in the current circumstances. The concept envisions phased progress towards resolving conflicts based on the equitable efforts of all regional and other stakeholders, developing confidence-building and oversight measures and, ultimately, forming an integrated collective security and cooperation mechanism in this subregion, while also creating appropriate organisational bodies.
Such a system can serve as the foundation for building a common post-crisis architecture in the Middle East. We are ready to work closely with all stakeholders both in official settings and in sociopolitical and expert circles. Article licensed under Creative Commons. Support Voltaire Network. In order to continue our work, we need you to support our efforts. Help us by making a contribution.
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Voltaire Network Voltaire, international edition. On May 16, U. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke by phone with Omani Sultan Qaboos bin Said to stress the need for all parties to comply with commitments to the U. These forceful campaigns to remake the regional order resist mediation and embrace the disruption of normal commercial activity as leverage. Both are a threat to Oman, which is courting investment from all. It is a strategy born of necessity, as Oman faces challenges to its economic viability and sovereignty.
Thus far, Oman has met these challenges by doubling down on its strategy, welcoming overtures from all economic parties, and meeting pressure to choose sides by proposing new diplomatic overtures and opportunities for security cooperation. There is no doubting the vulnerabilities of Oman in the current moment.
Russia’s security concept for the Gulf area
Under the administration of President Barack Obama, Oman was able to utilize its historical good relations with Iran as an asset, facilitating the secret talks that advanced the U. The administration of President Donald J. Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal in favor of punitive sanctions to starve Iran of funds and force its strategic retreat.
The Trump administration expects the ratcheting up of economic pressure to force Iran back to the negotiating table under less favorable terms to the Islamic Republic. Yet whether this succeeds or devolves into a more perilous cycle of Iranian strategic sabotage and U.
was year of highs and lows for Gulf countries | Caline Malek | AW
Iran, whose defense doctrine is based on forward positioning as security against attack, certainly has the assets and mindset for a high-stakes asymmetrical campaign characterized by drones, cyberattacks, and tactical strikes, most of which would take place within Iraq and the Gulf Arab countries themselves. The smaller countries along the Gulf littoral thus find themselves on the frontlines of this confrontation as the larger powers around them set the terms.
The answer has to do less with Iranian foreign policy than with larger international developments occurring around the time of changing administrations in Tehran, particularly significant improvements in US relations with a number of European powers that had become strained in the run-up to the US invasion and occupation of Iraq. In short, it was not the substance and nature of Iranian foreign policy or its security posture toward the Persian Gulf that changed from Muhammad Khatami to Ahmadinejad.
It is difficult to imagine US-Iranian relations darkening further than they had during the administration of George W. Any reduction of tensions between Iran and the United States is likely to be welcomed by the regional states, many of whom have worried, with good reason, about the potential fallout of any open conflict between Tehran and Washington.
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Changes are surely in the offing. What remain to be seen are their degree, intensity, and direction.