Gulf politics: the energy factor
The implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in January 2016 is considered a major strategic and economic turning point. For years global powers had sought to contain Iran economically and diplomatically to force it to be more transparent regarding its nuclear programme. Iran has categorically denied any interest in nuclear weapons. The nuclear deal has opened the door for close cooperation and the re-integration of Iran in the regional and global systems. This essay examines Iran’s massive energy potentials and how these hydrocarbon resources can enhance europe’s energy security. The analysis suggests that such cooperation would reduce europe’s over-dependency on Russia and would be a win-win proposition to all parties.
Dr. Gawdat Bahgat is Professor of National Security Affairs at the National Defense University’s Near east South Asia Center for Strategic Study in Washington, DC. He is an egyptian-born specialist in Middle eastern policy, particularly egypt, Iran, and the Gulf region. His areas of expertise include energy security, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, counter-terrorism, Arab-Israeli conflict, North Africa, and American foreign policy in the Middle east.