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Diplomacy Instead of Military Confrontation in the Persian Gulf

Few weeks after US President Donald Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia to shore up regional alliances, a political earthquake has ravaged the Persian Gulf. In an unprecedented move, US regional allies led by Saudi Arabia have served diplomatic ties and imposed a blockade on Qatar an ally of Iran and Turkey.

Saudi Arabia has accused Qatar of seeking regime change in the Kingdom and Qatar accuses the GCC countries of having hegemonic aims over Qatar. Of the six GCC countries only the UAE and Bahrain joined Saudi Arabia in severing relations with Qatar. All three have for years denounced Qatars relatively more tolerant attitudes towards Islamist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran. Notably, Oman and Kuwait,which are Qatar’s more balanced approach towards Iran, have not joined the Saudi effort to isolate Qatar. Egypt and Israel, however have enthusiastically supported the action. A regional security alliance comprised of states including Saudi Arabia, Egypt,the UAE, and Israel is creating against Iran and its geopolitical power and sphere of influence in the Middle East. The reality is that even if Saudi claims are accurate and the Persian Gulf countries are concerned about Iran’s supposed quest for hegemony, after Iran these same countries are also concerned about Saudi attempts to establish hegemony in the Persian Gulf.

Furthermore, since the rise of Al-Qaeda in 1998, an Iranian has never been counted as a suicide bomber. Al-Qaeda,Al-Nusra and ISIS are all from the Saudi Wahabi-Salafist schools.

States achieve strength from within . Such strength flows from the popular will, so clearly manifested in Hassan Rouhani’s recent resounding victory in Iran’s presidential elections. More than 70% of Iran’s 56 millions voters had cast their ballots.

Saudi Arabia has now taken two steps that have increased instability in the region.Its anti-Iran sword dance with Trump and trying to isolate Qatar. Isolation of Qatar will not work since both Turkey and Iran have seen themselves forced to increase their support for the Qatari Royal family in the wake of this crisis. Turkish troops are being sent to Doha to protect this small but very wealthy state and Iran has offered to provide food to be sent by sea.

Clausewitz the military strategic thinker has stated “War is the continuation of policy by other means” but the crisis in the Persian Gulf can be best solved through Diplomacy. USA,EU and Russia can help solving this crisis through Diplomacy.

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Dr. Fariborz Saremi is an Iranian strategic analyst based in Hamburg/Germany.Dr.Saremi is a regular contributor for World Tribun.com,Freepressers.com and Defense & Foreign Affairs. At times he has been a commentator for the German TV, ARD/NDR.

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