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Gulf states should form regional bloc with Iran

Arab Gulf states can no longer ignore Iran’s vital role in bringing stability to the Gulf region, and should work on establishing a security and economic arrangement with Tehran.
Oman's Sultan Qaboos bin Said (R) walks with Iran's President Hassan Rouhani upon Rouhani's arrival in Muscat March 12, 2014. REUTERS/Sultan Al Hasani (OMAN - Tags: POLITICS ROYALS) - RTR3GQAH

Ever since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Iran has often been obviated from any security arrangement or any major strategic decision in the Gulf. Though this never seemed logical, it was regularly justified by concerns over security of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states and lack of international legitimacy for engaging Iran constructively. Others hid behind ideological drives. The results were naturally disastrous. The Iranian nation suffered unjustly, Sunni-Shiite frontiers were being created between Iran and Saudi Arabia and Iran kept seeking international recognition and security assurances, most recently through the nuclear enrichment project.

This scene has changed. According to the 2014 Arab Youth Survey, Arab youth believe that their countries’ biggest allies are their regional neighbors.

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