Navigating Murky Waters: Iranian-Gulf Relations a Year into Raisi's Presidency
This paper examines the first year of Ebrahim Raisi's presidency and focuses on Iran's relations with neighboring Gulf states. The paper analyzes how President Raisi was able to navigate his foreign policies amidst numerous unfolding crises during his first few months in office, mainly: the political change in Afghanistan with the total control of Taliban; the Azerbaijani clashes with neighboring Armenia; the ramification of the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal in 2018; the overbearing uncertainty of the ongoing nuclear negotiations in Vienna' and the challenging outcomes of the Iraqi and Lebanese elections. Furthermore, the paper assesses the legacy of Hassan Rouhani and the political scene he left behind for the Raisi administration, including the lasting effects of Rouhani's initiative to promote regional cooperation through HOPE (The Hormuz Peace Endeavor). The paper discusses different elements of Iranian-Gulf relations, focusing on the Saudi-Iranian relations amidst ongoing peace talks in Iraq. Finally, the paperexamines the developing challenges Raisi's presidency faces going on into his second year.