Arab Gulf states' reaction to the Iranian elections
Gulf-Iran, Politics, 2/22/2000
The Arab Gulf states have expressed their hopes that the "reformers" victory in the parliamentary elections in Iran will be encouraging for rapprochement in the oil-rich Gulf region. However, these countries warned that confidence between Iran and its Arab neighbors in the Arab Gulf will be only established after settling a long-continuing conflict between the United Arab Emirates and Iran over the ownership of three Gulf islands.
In a statement to reporters, the Omani foreign minister said on Monday, "We hope that the result of the elections will help opening dialogue with the Arab Gulf states over the question of the UAE islands," saying that Iran has recently asserted its strong intention to contribute to the stability of the region. "Hopefully the result of the elections in Iran will back this Iranian trend," he said.
Relations between the Arab Gulf states and Iran have been improved after years of exchanged doubts since Iranian President Mohammed Khatami started improving his country's relations with the outer world. But the differences with the UAE over the ownership of Lesser Tanb, Greater Tanb and Abu Moussa islands, situated near main transit passages in the Gulf region, still obstruct the improvement of these relations.
Meanwhile, the UAE Gulf Today English daily expressed its hope for the establishment of regional stability when the new parliament which is predominated by "moderates and reformers" starts its work in Tehran, but the paper added that relations are related to settling the conflict with the UAE over the three islands.
Chairman of the humanitarian department at Qatar University, Muhammad al-Musagher, and the former chief editor of al-Raya daily said that the victory of the team led by President Khatami will eventually facilitate fostering relations between Iran and the Gulf states, especially Saudi Arabia.
A Saudi expert in Iranian affairs, Abdul Aziz Muhanna, said that in the coming phase Saudi-Iranian relations will witness greater development with the serious Iranian inclination to reform its diplomatic conditions with the countries of Europe and the USA. He said that having greater improvement in bilateral relations lies on settling the disputes over the islands.
Reformation movement wins majority in Iranian elections
Tripartite committee on UAE islands meets in Riyadh
GCC backs the UAE over islands issue
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