India has strong economic and cultural ties to the West Asia region, including both the GCC countries and Iran. A series of important events, including the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the US invasion of Iraq, the Arab Spring, and the Iranian nuclear deal, are contributing to a new balance of power in the region. This creates an opportunity for all players to develop their relationships with each other, and it is an opportunity that India is keen to exploit as part of the Modi Government’s emphasis on building connectivity, forging developmental partnership and promoting economic and security cooperation with its immediate and extended neighborhood. India’s relationship with Iran, and how that mediates India’s relationship with the GCC, is a critical component of this developing strategy.
Indian and GCC commentators are well-acquainted with the Iranian and Western views regarding Iran’s role in the West Asia region. However, Indian 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 Indian and GCC perspectives on the issue, delivered by researchers specializing in Gulf strategic issues.