GCC-Russian Relations After the Iranian Nuclear Deal

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iranian nuclear deal, marks an important turning point in the strategic balance of the Middle East area, and the Gulf in particular. The geo-political tumult experienced by the region after the Arab Spring in 2011 is in some sense the culmination of changes in the strategic interests and postures of various players that started after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the US, most notably an explicitly diminishing role played by the US as it redirects its resources to other regions. Coincidentally or otherwise, Russia’s involvement in the region has been expanding, offering the opportunity for the development of relations between Russia and the Gulf countries—relations which have historically been limited in scale.

Russian and GCC commentators are well-acquainted with the Western views regarding the GCC region. However, Russian and GCC commentators are comparatively uninformed about each other’s perspectives regarding this important topic due to the nascent nature of research dialogue between the two. This report aims to remedy this communication lacuna by furnishing readers with Russian and GCC perspectives on the issue, delivered by specialists in Gulf strategic issues.

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