Rouhani’s Oman visit adds to flux in the Gulf
- Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani visited Oman to build special ties.
- This marks a geopolitical realignment in the Gulf owing to Arab Spring & change of guard in Tehran.
- Saudi Arabia is Tehran’s rival in the region and a leading heavy weight in the 6 nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) of which Oman is a part. It won’t welcome this move by Rouhani.
- Mr. Rouhani mentioned that Oman & Iran occupy either side of strait of Hormuz (which links Sea of Oman with Persian Gulf – through which bulk of world’s energy supply passes).
- His aim is to make a new agreements in the economics and trade fields, especially on oil, gas as well as monetary and cultural issues.
- Riyadh and Tehran are fiercely competing for influence in the Levant (especially Syria).
- Among the Gulf petro-monarchies, Saudi Arabia & United Arab Emirates (UAE) have been targeting Muslim Brotherhood as a source of political instability.
- Earlier, Saudi, Bahrain & UAE recalled their ambassadors from Qatar to protest Doha’s support for Muslim Brotherhood.
- Riyadh and its partners seem inclined to bolster Egypt as a counterweight to Iran.
- Levant Region