Economic relations between Gulf countries and Iran not to break

Politics Materials 5 May 2011 10:28 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, May 4 /Trend, T.Konyayeva/

Despite the current tensions between the Arab states of the Persian Gulf and Iran, the break of economic relations in the near future will not happen, experts say.

"Political relations between Iran and Arab countries of Gulf survive hard times, a Jordanian expert on the economy in the Middle East Fahmi Katout told Trend in a telephone conversation. - But the political prospects are largely determined by economic interests, and given that Iran and the Gulf countries have very close and viable economic relations, we can confidently say that this political crisis will not lead to rupture of economic relations."

On May 1, Bahrain Chamber of Commerce urged local entrepreneurs, companies and organizations to boycott Iranian goods and products. The statement by the Chamber of Commerce says that this decision has been pushed by "Iran's obvious interference in the internal affairs of Bahrain and threats to the national security of the Kingdom."

The Chamber called its counterparts in the GCC and all commercial and business entities in the Arab countries to demonstrate solidarity with the decision of Bahrain and boycott business ties with Iran.

Katout said any state in the first place thinks of the economic interests, and in case of break of economic relations with Iran, Arab economies will suffer tremendous damage.

"Therefore, Iran's tense relations with the Gulf Arab countries in any case will not lead to the rupture of economic relations," he said.

"Today Iran is trying to score points in the Middle East region, for example in Egypt, and Bahrain's reaction is not an independent decision, but a decision made under pressure from the U.S. and countries of the region, who are allies of the West and are dependent on the U.S.," Alexander Rahr, Director of the Russia-Eurasia Center of the Council on Foreign Relations of Germany, believes.

"Today Washington is doing everything it can to isolate Iran, so it is not worthy to attach particular significance to appeals of Bahrain, Rahr, member of Trend Expert Council, told in a telephone conversation. Turbulence in the Arab world remains a mystery to all players, and it is not clear how the events will develop further."

To expect Persian Gulf countries to break relations with Iran is early, though attempts to isolate Tehran have been made, and of course, will be made, he said.

Rahr believes that all depends on whether the U.S. will continue its presence in the region, given the financial problems. "Today, the West and its influence in the region is clearly weakening," he said.

Tensions between Iran and the Gulf countries have become even more complicated in recent years after the anti-government demonstrations of Shiites, who make up 75 percent of the population of Bahrain and require greater political rights, started.

Official representatives of Bahrain appealed to the GCC member countries with a request to send additional forces to deal with protesters. After that several countries, including Saudi Arabia, sent a hundreds of soldiers to Bahrain.

Iran has supported the protesters and condemned the entry of the GCC troops in Bahrain, who took an active part in suppressing the demonstrations of Shiites. In response, GCC countries have repeatedly accused Tehran of interfering in their internal affairs. But Tehran denies the accusations, saying that it only provides moral support to Bahrain, but does not interfere in its internal affairs.

In late April, the foreign ministers of the GCC at meeting in Riyadh urged the international community and UN Security Council to put an end to the "provocative actions by Iran to foment inter-community strife in the Arab Gulf countries." Iran, in turn, demanded the UN Security Council to ensure the protection of opposition activists in Bahrain and stop the violent suppression of Bahraini people's rallies.

E.Tariverdiyeva, A.Tagiyeva contributed to article.