- Matteo Legrenzi
- and F. Gregory Gause III
This chapter examines the international politics of the Gulf region, with particular emphasis on the security challenges confronting the Gulf states. It begins with an analysis of the policies of Iraq and Saudi Arabia as well as the United States’s increased involvement, focusing on the issues of regime security, political identity, and balance-of-power politics as they emerged during the Iran–Iraq War of 1980–1988 and the Gulf War of 1990–1991, and also from the Saudis’ alliance decisions in the face of those wars and the Iraq War of 2003. It also discusses Iran’s role, its nuclear programme, and relations with the Arab Gulf states and concludes with some remarks on the significance of the negotiations between Iran and the so-called P5+1, along with the ramifications of the Saudi–Iran rivalry for the international politics of the Gulf and the balance of power in the entire region.