The Gulf Cooperation Council vs. Iran

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) first came to widespread attention during the early stages of the uprising in Bahrain, where, on March 14, it deployed thousands of "Peninsula Shield Force" troops -- drawn principally from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates -- to aid the Sunni monarchy in suppressing the largely Shi'a protestors.  This measure, still in force today, is rooted in the growing tensions between the Gulf states and Iran as part of the "Arab Spring," with the former accusing the Islamic Republic of being behind the demonstrations in Bahrain and of fomenting unrest in the predominantly Shi'a areas of eastern Saudi Arabia. Less widely noticed however, was the GCC's decision on May 10, 2011 to announce at a meeting convened in Riyadh that it welcomed Jordan's request to join the council, along with its invitation for Morocco to become a member.  This move came as a surprise to certain delegates at the summit.  Yet the choice to invite Morocco to...(Read Full Article)