The Potential Impact of Iranian Politics on Future Iran-GCC Relations
The results of Iran’s February 26, 2016, parliamentary and Assembly of Experts elections could prove to be an important turning point in the history of the Islamic Republic. Coming on the heels of the implementation of the nuclear deal, the election served as a referendum in favor of President Hassan Rouhani’s moderating approach to international affairs. What this means for the future of Iran’s relations with its Persian Gulf neighbors depends largely on the durability of the broad-based pro-Rouhani coalition and its ability to maintain the upper hand against hardline factions close to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, which prefer to keep Iranians in perpetual confrontation with the U.S. and its regional allies as a means of preserving the fervor of the Islamic revolution.
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