The paper utilizes the theory of neoclassical realism as its theoretical foundation to understand the relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). An insight is provided into defining Rouhani’s foreign policy discourse and slogan, primarily towards the GCC, while addressing the significant shifts in the region, which implicated Iran’s Rouhani stance towards the GCC and its members. The paper concludes with how the recent developments of the Iranian elections and Ebrahim Raisi will impact the future of Iran-GCC relations. From an analytical standpoint, it was found that Rouhani had difficulty engaging with the GCC countries due to impediments by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Similarly, the article highlights Rouhani’s era in Iran’s foreign behavior towards the GCC while exploring whether he achieved his foreign ambitions and provided a vision for the significant challenges awaiting the Raisi presidency.
Following the publication of the Summer 2021 special issue “Regional Developments and Challenges,” Insight Turkey coordinated a panel where distinguished participants shared their views, to discuss the latest developments in the energy context in the Gulf and the Eastern Mediterranean. The panel, which was held online due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, was broadcast live on YouTube and other social media platforms.
Following the Trump Administration’s decision to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in 2018 and the reimposition of economic sanctions, Iran witnessed public unrest that threatened the survival of the regime. Throughout its history, the Iranian regime has deployed various intricate internal and external strategies that have worked separately at times, and overlapped at others, to secure the regime against threats and guarantee its survivability. It is important to discover the strategies the Iranian regime has followed to survive the stifling crises it has faced since its establishment in 1979, in order to evaluate whether it will be able to survive its chronic economic crises. While the regime has purposely supported the Palestinian cause, strengthened its relations with non-state actors, and engaged in religious discourses on an external level, it has also achieved militarization and securitization, populated unelected governmental institutions with personnel loyal to its clerical and military institutions rather than qualified persons and pursued legitimacy renewal on an internal level.