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Divesting From Sectarianism: Reimagining Relations Between Iran and the Arab Gulf States

Divesting From Sectarianism: Reimagining Relations Between Iran and the Arab Gulf States

Detailed Information
Title
Author
Khaled A. Beydoun, Hamada D. Zahawi
Institution
University of Detroit
Abstract
Until recently, Iran has been economically isolated by way of sanctions, preempting investment opportunities with states allied with the United States. However, the Obama administration’s recent effort towards economic normalization with Iran affords it with unprecedented commercial possibilities, and per the focus of this article, legalized commercial enterprising within Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) States—across sectarian tensions and fault lines. From both a legal and practical prism, this article investigates the recent lifting of sanctions, which opens the door for Iran’s investment within neighboring states including the GCC. Subsequently, it analyzes how commercial investment and the reciprocal advancement of economic interests offers a promising pathway toward eroding political standoffs, economic inequities, and the politicization of sectarianism. In closing, the article addresses salient challenges that may hinder the potential of this economic rapprochement, and ways forward.
Date of Publication
Recommended citation
Beydoun, Khaled A., and Hamada D. Zahawi. “Divesting From Sectarianism: Reimagining Relations Between Iran and the Arab Gulf States.” Journal of International Affairs, vol. 69, no. 2, 2016, pp. 47–64.
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