Iran’s Policy Toward the Persian Gulf: Dynamics of Continuity and Change
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Hunter argues that geographical and demographic disparities between Iran and the Arab States on the Persian Gulf have contributed to a kind of perennial unease on the part of the Arab States toward Iran because of its greater size and population. Accordingly, there has been a considerable degree of continuity in Iran-Gulf relations. Hunter focuses on the three forces that have shaped these relations in the last few decades—security, national identity and quest for legitimacy. She suggests that greater moderation in Tehran, rapprochement with Washington, reduced tension with Israel and a regional security system in the Gulf are likely to contribute to better Iran-Arab relations. She concludes that these relations have always been susceptible to dynamics of the international political system.