The Changing Perception of Iran Towards the Gulf States

Shah Alam, Researcher



The victory of the liberal faction in the May 1997 presidential election and the February-May 2000 Majlis elections has indicated a perceptible change in the political culture of Iran. These elections have clearly shown that the liberals are gaining ground. The change in domestic politics is bound to affect the foreign policy too. Khatami, as an agent of change, has adopted détente policy. Khatami's rapprochement policy is hailed by the entire world and especially by the Gulf States. He is successful in convincing the Gulf States that Iran is keen to ensure healthy relations with them. Iran seeks to maintain trustworthy relations with Saudi Arabia because it is a potential partner and rival in the region. Good relations with the Gulf States is also a strategy to assert its role as a regional power as before. But its unresolved disputes in the region are a hindrance to such relationships. The growing US military bases in the region have become a source of concern to Iran. The US Defence Secretary, William Cohen's visit to West Asia in April 2000, and his proposal of Cooperative Defence Initiative (CDI), is a grand military design of the US to protect its strategic interests. This move will further strengthen the US military presence in the region on the one hand, while also start an arms race on the other. From the Iranian perspective, the proposal of CDI is a political ploy of the US to generate mistrust among the Gulf States and paralyse the growing relations between Iran and the Gulf States.

The defeat of the conservative faction in the May 1997 presidential election and the February-May 2000 Majlis elections signal a perceptible change in the political culture of Iran. The change in domestic politics affects the foreign policy too. Khatami's worldview and his détente policy have been hailed by the entire world and especially the Gulf States. His policy of rapprochement has convinced the Gulf States that Iran has created a congenial atmosphere to ensure a healthy relationship. Iran's efforts to build confidence and trustworthy relationships with the Gulf States is a strategy to assert its role as a regional power. Its unresolved disputes in the region are a hindrance to such relationships. By setting them aside for the moment, President Khatami hopes to build a new climate of diplomacy.

Mohammad Khatami's landslide victory over the conservative candidate, Nateq-Nuri, in the May 1997 presidential election, was a clear manifestation of change in the political culture of Iran. The result of the sixth Majlis elections carried forward the perceptible change that had started with the May 1997 presidential election. The victory of the reformists over the conservatives in the sixth Majlis elections was a continuation and confirmation of the May 1997 presidential election. Iran's new political environment would "enhance regional stability, improving the sense of security among the Persian Gulf's oil monarchies, lessening longstanding Arab-Persian tensions…"1 The victory of a broad coalition of reformists in these two elections signifies changes at both the domestic and foreign policy levels because any change in Iran's domestic politics would directly and indirectly affect the foreign policy.

Khatami's détente policy is intended to generate confidence among the Gulf States that Iran poses no threat to them politically or militarily. However, the growing Iranian military capability is perceived by the Gulf States as a threat. Iran's efforts now will be to prevent generating animosity and mistrust because it perceives that conflict with the Gulf States is not healthy for Iran.

The Changing Perception

The 1979 Revolution and the change of guard in Tehran, completely changed the country's foreign policy orientation. Iran's foreign policy drifted away from the US and the West, and moved towards support for Third World issues, non-alignment, and a populist anti-imperialist policy. The thrust of orientation of the Iranian foreign policy during this period was a political delink from the capitalist and socialist systems and the pursuit of populist economic policies. In the aftermath of the Revolution. "Export the Islamic Revolution," "Down with Satanic Powers," and "Neither West nor East," became the cornerstone of the Iranian foreign policy. The orientation of the policy was both anti-monarchical and anti-secular. The thrust of the policy was to alter the region's political map rather than coexist with existing regimes of West Asia.

The Revolution of 1979 in the name of religion was unpredictable in the 20th century and startled the entire world. The Revolution's slogan "Export of Islamic Revolution", triggered unrest in some Gulf States like Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Its effect was seen in the form of protests and demonstrations in some Gulf States. So, the entire region became vulnerable. The popular uprising in the Gulf States against the regimes might prove detrimental for the existing regimes. If in the Persian Gulf, the monarchies were threatened, consequently the US' strategic interests would be threatened since the Gulf States' monarchies were allies of the US. The US strategic interests could be threatened at three levels: uninterrupted flow of oil to the US and its allies, the increase in the Soviet Union's influence in the region, and the existence of Israel as a state. The slogan, "Export of the Islamic Revolution" created a complex situation in the region which interlinked one another. The Gulf States' regimes perceived a threat on the one hand, and the US and its allies on the other. Thus, all of a sudden, the region of safe supply of energy to the world turned into a volatile region.

Problems arising from Iran's shattered economy were compounded by the Revolution and the eight-year Iran-Iraq war.2 Its worsening economy, and its suspicious and annoyed neighbours, especially the Gulf States compelled Iran to rethink its external policies. Since the death of Ayatollah Khomeini, Iran's foreign policy had relied more on national interests than on ideological considerations. Iran had put ideology on the backburner in order to avoid confrontation with its neighbours. Iran's worsening economy's left no option but to maintain good relations with the Gulf States and outside region. In order to achieve this goal, Iran adopted a two-pronged strategy to maintain stability on its southern and northern borders: to ensure good and cordial relations with the Gulf States; and to concentrate and forge alliances with Central Asia and the Caucasus region. The permanent US military presence in the region convinced Tehran that an appropriate policy was to accept the status quo in the region. The Rafsanjani administration's policy was based on three considerations: first Iran cannot alter the political map of the region; second, Iran must try to adjust to a new balance of power in the region and accept the US as a balancing power in the region; and third, to maintain good relations with Saudi Arabia since it is a major country in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The Rafsanjani administration's main objective in pursuing such policies was to recover ground lost during the eight year Iran-Iraq war and to reassert Iran's influence in the region.

Change in perception towards the Gulf States began during the Rafsanjani administration (1989-97). Landmark changes were seen at the eighth summit for the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) held in Tehran in December 1997. The massive turnout of high level officials at the eighth summit of the OIC in Tehran in December 1997 had indicated the Khatami administration's conciliatory approach that attracted the international community and especially Iran's neighbours. The unique turnout of the Gulf States at the eighth summit of the OIC held in Tehran in December 1997 and especially the presence of the Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah was a clear indication of the shift in the Saudi policy towards Iran. Iran's spiritual leader, Ayatollah Khamenei during his address at the eighth summit of the OIC clearly stated that "Iran poses no threat to any Islamic country".3 This statement was interpreted to mean an abandonment of both the politico-ideological and the military threat. It was hailed by the Gulf States.

The thrust of Khatami's policies is the restoration of peace and stability in the Persian Gulf, further and faster reintegration into the world political economy, and greater participation in the regional and global organisations like the United Nations, the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), and the Economic Cooperation Organisation.4 Khatami's détente policy is a continuation of the policy of Rafsanjani. Khatami stated on March 5, 2000, that "Iran's détente policy is not at all tactical but a strategy that Iran believes that the interest of the country, region and the world is linked with stabilisation and expansion of the policy."5 Mohsen Aminzadeh, Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister in Asia Pacific Affairs stated, "the détente policy and reliance-building guidelines as well as developing regional and international peace and stability in line with Iran's political and economic development are the main foundations of Iran's foreign policy".6 The purpose of the Khatami administration's détente policy is to create a congenial atmosphere in the region and beyond for confidence-building and mutual cooperation. President Khatami pointed out, "we must progress from the stage of détente to that of building trust and subsequently to the establishment of lasting regional cooperation."7

The Khatami administration's top agenda is to ensure close relationship with the neighbours, especially the Gulf States, and to prevent and avoid the development of enmities and mistrust. In order to achieve it, Iran is trying to ensure healthy relations with Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, and Turkey. The Khatami administration's central theme of the Gulf policies is rapprochement with Saudi Arabia since it is a potential partner and rival in the region. The building of trust between Iran and Saudi Arabia is not easy because the Khomeini era had created a lot of problems for Saudi Arabia and the entire Gulf States. At that time, the Saudi monarchy was considered illegitimate, incompatible with Islam and an ally of anti-Islamic imperialism. The Saudi monarchy was attacked as "corrupt and oppressive" and having no legitimate right to be the guardian of Islamic holy places. On the other hand Iran also had problems with Saudi Arabia because it was Saudi Arabia which supported Iraq against Iran in the Iran-Iraq war.

Iran's rapprochement with Saudi Arabia is considered as a desire of regional leaders to solve their interstate conflicts through negotiations and other peaceful means. But in Iran-Arab relations, ideology is still working as a dominant factor. Iran's Islamisation policy has generated cultural competition between them in terms of their respective contribution to the development of Islamic culture. Both Iran and Saudi Arabia are still rivals at the ideological level.

These developments are signs of substantially improving relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia. President Khatami's visit to the Gulf States in 1999, and especially his visit to Saudi Arabia in May 1999 are clear indications of growing mutual understanding between both countries. The Saudi King's invitation by a special envoy, to Ayatollah Khamenei in February 2000, to visit Saudi Arabia for Hajj pilgrimage and positive response from Ayatollah Khamenei, has opened a new chapter in Iran-Saudi relations. But there are still a number of problems that mar the relationship—the issue of islands between Iran and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is complex and still unresolved with Saudi support to the UAE on this issue of islands; and the Saudi support of the Taliban in Afghanistan which Iran firmly opposes.

The growing extensive relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia are still marred due to the absence of relations between Iran and the US since the US is a close ally of Saudi Arabia and the US military forces are present in the region which Iran firmly opposes. Despite Khatami's proposal of having a dialogue with the American people, mutual hostility and suspicion still persist. It is clear that as Iran's relations with the US would improve, Iran's relations with Saudi Arabia would also improve. It is also clear that if Iran-US relations remain at an impasse, it will certainly affect Iran-Saudi rapprochement. It is an unique example where the future bilateral relations between two countries are a hostage to extraneous factors.

Iran and Gulf States' Perceptions on Regional Security

Iran's change in perception towards the Gulf States and vice-versa has generated some mutual confidence between them, and both have realised the positive outcome of rapprochement. But both have different ideas with regard to the security of the region. So, Iran-Gulf States relation is still uncertain because both sides have different perceptions of regional security threats. The Gulf States perception of regional security is based on the following considerations:

1. Iran is a politico-ideological threat since it supports Shiite minorities who reside in the various Gulf States,

2. The growing military capabilities of Iran are perceived by the Gulf States as a threat,

3. Iran's growing capabilities are considered as a sign of growing Iranian hegemony in the region and regional security threat,

4. Iran's opposition to the presence of the US forces in the region is perceived by the Gulf States as a regional security threat because they consider the presence of the US forces in the region as sine qua non for regional peace and security,

5. Iran's geo-strategic location between the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea is also a source of concern for the Gulf States,

6. Iran's claim on the islands is perceived by the Gulf States as a serious regional security threat.

On the other hand, Iran perceives a security threat on the following grounds:

1. The presence of the US forces in the region is the greatest source of security threat to the region,

2. The growing US military bases in the region are a source of concern for Iran,

3. It considers that regional security should be realised by all regional states and there should not be intervention by extraterritorial powers.

4. The rapprochement with Israel as visualised by the GCC, will not yield regional security,

5. The territorial claim like the UAE's claim on Abu-Musa is incompatible with regional security.

Both sides have different perceptions on the issue of regional security which have marred strengthening their relationship. It can be said that the root of the regional security threat is based on the four basic issues: frontier disputes, territorial claims, ideological differences, and extraterritorial intervention.8 These are glaring examples of territorial and border disputes: like Iran and the UAE disputes over Abu-Musa and Lesser and Greater Tunbs islands; Iran and Iraq dispute over Shatt al-Arab; Iraq's claim over Kuwait and its occupation by Iraq in August 1990; and Saudi Arabia and Bahrain border disputes.

Despite both sides differing perceptions on the regional security issue, their rapprochement is a clear sign of their desire to ensure a trustworthy relationship. If they are interested in maintaining healthy relations, the solution of Iran and intra-Gulf disputes are sine qua non.

US Military Presence

The growing US military bases in the region have become a source of concern for Iran. The prime objective of the US military bases is to provide security of the Strait of Hormuz and the entire Persian Gulf, the oil producing countries (especially Gulf monarchies) and to serve its strategic interests. The US Defence Secretary, William Cohen's proposal of the Cooperative Defence Initiative (CDI) is a grand strategy of the US to increase its military bases and strengthen its position in the region.

After the Second World War, West Asia became the centre of attraction. In 1951 President Eisenhower described West Asia as the world's most important strategic region.9 Twenty years later, President Nixon reiterated the same and after that whoever became president of the US, paid greater attention to West Asia because of greater strategic importance and economic interests. The US policy towards West Asia was to secure cheap and safe oil for itself and its allies. In the 1970s, many developments took place in the region; Arab-Israeli war, the oil crisis, intense rivalry between the US and the Soviet Union for control over the region, the Revolution in Iran, and Britain's withdrawal from the Gulf. Britain's withdrawal from the region proved vital for US strategy because wherever Britain had its military bases, it handed them over to the US, which meant that the British forces were replaced by the US forces. And an abrupt increase in the US bases in the region, strengthened its position there. In the 1970s, three developments linked Iran more closely with the US: the US takeover from Britain of the naval base at Bahrain, greater US naval activity in the Indian Ocean, and President Nixon's announcement that the US was now relying on the "twin pillars" of Iran and Saudi Arabia to provide technical and regional security of the Gulf region. At the height of the Cold War, the US stationed its naval forces in the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean to ward off the Soviet Union's influence and threat. The Soviet Union had bases in the Persian Gulf too. The Soviet Union's access to the Iraqi port Umme-I Qasr, encircled Iran and Turkey. In the southern part of the Persian Gulf, the Soviet Union also had its bases. It had acquired bases and facilities in South Yemen (now South and North Yemen have been unified) to support its naval forces in the Arabian Sea-Indian Ocean. The US submarines and surface ships from the Red Sea and Persian Gulf balanced the Soviet threat in the region.10

In 1979, the downfall of the Shah and the Soviet invasion in Afghanistan, created security problems in the region. These two important developments one after another became strategically formidable challenges to the US with regard to security of the region and its economic interests. After the downfall of the Shah, the US lost radar intelligence gathering sites and bases, and deployment of armaments,11 which necessitated the acquisition of new bases. The US was partially successful in its endeavours, and got limited facilities around Oman, the UAE, and Bahrain to deter the Soviet threat. On the other hand, after the Shah's fall, Egypt provided strategic facilities to the US "on two air bases in Ras Banas and naval base in the Red Sea."12

While Iran was an ally of the US, it provided military bases to maintain regional security and did not perceive the growing US military bases in her own country and the Gulf States as a threat. But after the Revolution in 1979, Iran perceived these US military bases as a threat because it was no longer an ally of the US in maintaining regional security and became anti-US. Wherever the US got places for its military bases in the various Gulf States, they started to turn into permanent bases after the Iranian Revolution of 1979 because monarchies of the Gulf States perceived Iran as a threat. In the early 1990s, two major developments occurred at the global level, the demise of the Soviet Union and the occupation of Kuwait by Iraq. The occupation of Kuwait by Iraq in August 1990, provided opportunity for the US to increase and consolidate its military presence further and faster in the Persian Gulf.13 The Iraqi occupation of Kuwait created ripples of fear among the Gulf States that was aptly capitalised on by the US in strengthening its position in the region. The US established and consolidated its permanent military bases in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Qatar.

Since the Gulf War, "4000 US airmen and 1000 other troops have been based in Saudi Arabia."14 The Dahran base in Saudi Arabia covers the Persian Gulf and Iran. But the continued presence of the US forces on Saudi soil has created uneasiness among Saudi officials. In the aftermath of Cohen's visit, a US military official in Saudi Arabia said that the US was planning to move about 4000 of its forces out of Saudi Arabia. But it was promptly denied by the Saudi Defence Minister, Prince Sultan bin Abd al-Aziz, and immediately repudiated by the US Defence Department's chief spokesman, Kenneth Baccon. Baccon said the US was not planning to reduce its forces and "infact prince Sultan has expressed a desire for a continued US presence in Saudi Arabia at current levels."15

The US also has military installations in Kuwait and Bahrain where the US Navy's 5th Fleet is based. The US also has an arms depot in Qatar. During his visit to Qatar, Cohen expressed the desire to use the Al-Udaid air base of Qatar for the American forces but Qatar did not give any indication of allowing the US force to use its base.

The bases which the US has acquired in the region are useful for both the staging, maintenance, redeployment, and the air interdiction campaign. These bases are equally vital for ground and naval strategies. The US Navy's 5th Fleet in Bahrain monitors traffic throughout the region. It covers the Persian Gulf, Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean, and Red Sea. The Persian Gulf has been vital to the US for its energy security and regional and global involvement, and holds the key to the US for its future strategic design.

Missile Defence and Cooperative Defence Initiative

The NMD programme is a grand strategy of the US at the national level to ward off the threat to its pre-eminence from any corner. It will work as a defence shield by tracking, intercepting and destroying any threat emanating from anywhere. The US Defence Secretary, William Cohen's visit to West Asia in April 2000, and his proposal of CDI, resembling the Theatre Missile Defence (TMD), is a grand military design of the US to protect its strategic interests. The concept of CDI as has been proposed by the US for the Gulf States, has three objectives: uninterrupted flow of energy, protection of the US forces, and selling of arms.

In seeking to pursue the CDI programme in the Gulf States the real intentions of the US remain to contain both Iran and Iraq. The CDI is a regional early-warning system that will counter missile attacks from anywhere. The CDI will alert its allies through classified computer links about signs of missile launches which will be detected by satellites almost instantaneously, and will track the missiles. It means it will detect, intercept and destroy the attacking missiles. By creating such an atmosphere, the US is trying to sell the military equipment to Gulf States, like Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. Cohen said that "each country will approach it differently, but my goal is to at least alert the countries in the region to the nature of the threat and to explore ways in which our militaries can share information, share intelligence, share ways in which the threat can be deterred or minimised should it ever occur."16 Cohen's Gulf visit in April 2000 was intended to promote the US's incessant arms sale drive in the region. Saudi Arabia confirmed that it was considering buying two dozen F-15 jets. If this deal materialises, the planes will replace older F-5 models in the Saudi airforce. Saudi Arabia was the top buyer of US arms in the region in 1998. If the CDI programme materialises it will increase an arms race in the region.

Some Gulf observers opine that the US is exaggerating the real level of security risks in the region to promote its arms industry whereas Iran and Iraq are no longer a threat to the security of the region. An editorial appearing in the newspaper, The Gulf News asked "does Cohen really have the interests of the Gulf in mind, or is he trying to drum up more business for American arms industry by putting fear into the Arabs?"17 It seems that they do not consider Iran and Iraq as a major threat in the region as the US always projects it to be.

The overall response over the issue of CDI in the region is not positive as was expected by the US. Both Iran and Iraq openly criticised Cohen's proposal. The Iraqi ruling Bath party's newspaper, al Thawra commented on April 9, 2000, that "Cohen wants to transform the Gulf into US protectorate".18 Tehran radio charged that "Washington is trying to ensure that its illegitimate military presence in the Gulf will become permanent. It is also trying to ensure that it will have a monopoly on military information and secrets in the Arab countries of the region. In this way, it is trying to prevent the formation of a regional security in which all the littoral states participate."19

In Iranian perception, the CDI will strengthen and consolidate the US military presence in the region. Iran has been calling for a regional security pact as the cornerstone of stability in the Gulf over the years. It is believed that the sale of the missile warning system is an obstacle to that objective.

In this scenario, Iran will use the NMD US design as an appropriate opportunity to increase its politico-military relations with China, Russia, and North Korea because all these countries perceive a threat from this US design.20 Whereas China and Russia have openly criticised the US programme of the NMD, Iran is so paranoid that it considers US's every role, action and initiative as a direct or indirect assault on Iran's regional interests. Since the Cold War, the US has been in strategic competition with Iran and is the main challenger in the Persian Gulf and Trans Caspian region. Obviously, both challenge each other's interests in the region. The perception that the US is Iran's main regional rival is shared by both the military establishment and political elite.

While Iran's relations with the Gulf States have been improving, Cohen's trip to the Gulf States and his CDI proposal is a political ploy of the US to generate mistrust among the Persian Gulf States and to create an obstacle in consolidating relations between Iran and the Gulf States.

Cohen's CDI proposal has created suspicion among the Gulf States. The issue of CDI has produced negative reactions among the Gulf States. All Gulf States are taking cautious steps and looking very carefully. Particularly, Iran and Iraq have accused the US of seeking to foment mistrust and apprehension among the Gulf States to serve its strategic interests.


The victory of the reformists' faction in the sixth Majlis elections and prevailing pragmatism in Iran have created some amount of confidence among the Gulf States vis-à-vis Iran. Khatami's rapprochement policy is partly successful in convincing the Gulf States that Iran is serious about maintaining healthy relations with them. Khatami's visit to the Gulf States in 1999 is a clear sign of Iran's growing relations with them. The signing of a deal between Iran and Saudi Arabia on April 4, 2000, providing for export of technical and engineering services to Saudi Arabia, will pave the way for the presence of Iranian manpower for joint ventures in Saudi Arabia. The phenomenal rise in Iran and Saudi Arabian relations can be seen in King Fahd's invitation to Ayotollah Khamenei to visit Saudi Arabia. It is a firm indicator of growing relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia. The Khatami administrations attempts and desire to ensure healthy relations with Saudi Arabia seem to be successful. Khatami's détente policy has convinced the Gulf States that a new chapter of closer relations with Iran is possible.

Despite positive developments between Iran and the Gulf States in maintaining good relations there are still a number of issues which are an obstacle in having a healthy relationship. There are enough unresolved issues like territorial claims and border disputes that are serious in nature, which are yet to be settled. Iran has kept these issues in cold storage for a while because these are hindrances in maintaining healthy relations.

But it is upto the region's leaders, how long they will be able to contain their traditional animosities and mistrust given the unresolved issues that have yet to be addressed.



1. International Herald Tribune, Bangkok, February 18, 2000.

2. See Farhad Nomani and Ali Rahnema, eds., Islamic Economic System (London: Zed Book, 1994); Anoushirvan Ehteshami, After Khomeini. The Iranian Second Republic (London: Routledge, 1995); Jahangir Amuzegar, Iran's Economy under the Islamic Republic (New York: I.B. Tauris, 1993); Adnan Mazarei, "Iranian Economy under the Islamic Republic: Institutional Change and Macroeconomic Performance (1979-1990)" Cambridge Journal of Economics, vol. 20, no. 3, May 1996; Massoud Karshenas and M. Hashem Pesaran, "Economic Reform and the Reconstruction of the Iranian Economy", The Middle East Journal, vol. 49, no. 1, winter 1995.

3. Ayatollah Khamenei's speech at the eighth summit of the OIC held in Tehran in December 1997, Rah-e-Islam, nos. 167-168, March-April, 1998, p. 33.

4. Jalil Roshandel, "Iran's Foreign Policy and Security Policies," Security Dialogue, vol. 31, no. 1, March 2000, pp. 105-117; Mohammad Reza Djalili, "Persian Gulf: Problems and Prospects", World Affairs, vol. 3, no. 2, April-June 1999, pp. 36-42; Saidel Loftfian, "Iran's Middle East Policies under President Khatami, Iranian Journal of International Affairs, vol. 10, no. 4, winter 1998-99, pp. 421-448.

5. Islamic Republic New Agency (IRNA), Tehran, in English, March 5, 2000 cited in BBC, SWB, Third series, ME/37 82, March 7, 2000.

6. IRNA, Tehran, in English, April 3, 2000, cited in BBC, SWB, Third Series, ME/3807, April 5, 2000.

7. BBC, SWB, Third Series, ME/37 75, February 28, 2000.

8. Saul B. Cohen, Reordering the World, Geopolitical Perspective on 21st Century (1994), pp. 23-35, cited in Ezzatollah Ezzaty, "Iranian Geopolitics and Its Effects on the Persian Gulf Security," The Iranian Journal of International Affairs, vol. 10, nos. 1 & 2, Spring-Summer 1998, p. 123.

9. Amir Sadeghi Hossein, ed., The Security of the Persian Gulf (London: Groom Helm, 1981), p. 1.

10. Joel Sokolarky, "The Superpowers and The Middle East: The Maritime Dimension" in Barun Aurel, ed., The Middle East in Global Strategy (London: Westview Press, 1987), p. 132.

11. Roger Savory, "The Geopolitical Impact of Islamic Revolution in Iran on the Gulf Region," in Aurel, no. 10, p. 202.

12. M. Sayeed Alam, Towards Persian Gulf War: Arms Proliferation in West Asia (New Delhi: Camseway Centre, 1993), p. 10.

13. Pirouz Mojtahed-Zadeh, "Regional Alliance in The Persian Gulf: Past Trends and Future Prospects," The Iranian Journal of International Affairs, vol. 1, nos. 1&2, Spring-Summer 1998, p. 9.

14. Middle East International, no. 623, April 21, 2000, p. 13.

15. Ibid., pp. 12-13.

16. Ibid., p. 12.

17. Ibid.

18. Ibid., p. 14.

19. Ibid.

20. Anoushirvan Ehteshami, "Tehran's Tocsin," The Washington Quarterly, vol. 23, no. 3, pp. 171-176.