The upcoming Iranian presidential elections on June 18 are arguably one of the key political milestones since the revolution of 1979. Having taken control of parliament and successfully weakened and dismantled the moderate camp, conservatives are making extra efforts to take control of the presidency in this round of competition, while moderates are trying to stay in power and preserve their control over the executive branch.
This election campaign is taking place at a time when Iran is at a critical juncture in terms of its relations with the international community. It comes amid efforts to revive the nuclear deal and in the wake of Iran’s signing of a strategic cooperation agreement with China.
In important ways, these global developments also affect Tehran’s relations with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the other members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Whatever the outcome of the elections, the nuclear negotiations, and Iran-China talks: Iran’s immediate neighborhood is going to be affected the most. The Gulf states, therefore, face the challenge of devising their own initiatives towards Iran with a view to resolving tensions at the regional level.
Dr. Ebtesam al-Ketbi is Founder and President of the Emirates Policy Center and a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council’s Consultative Commission.
* This article was originally published by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung.
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