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June 1, 2020

Inkstick: Crisis and Cooperation in the Persian Gulf

By Shervin Ghaffari

For the past few decades, the Persian Gulf has lurched from crisis to crisis, interrupted by occasional periods of uneasy calm. However, a convergence of factors over the preceding months and the COVID-19 crisis might offer a new path forward toward a sustainable framework for regional dialogue and compromise.

Amid the COVID crisis, the reaction of GCC states to Iran’s deadly outbreak of the disease may provide an opening for greater things. The UAE in particular, which supported President Trump’s harsh sanctions campaign against Iran, sent a plane on March 16th carrying over 32 tons of medical equipment, the second time since the pandemic began. A spokeswoman for the UAE, Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashimy, said in a statement that, “the leadership and people stand shoulder to shoulder with nations in their time of need.” In a response on Twitter, Seyed Abbas Mousavi, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman said, “my country is sincerely thankful for these humanitarian efforts and will never forget the way they stood with Iran in hard times.”

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