1) Establishing an Economic Cooperation Organization aimed at making ties more active in the fields of agriculture, energy and transportation; 2) Visa Cancellation aimed at facilitating movement of the citizens of the eight Persian Gulf coastal states. 3) Authorization of Ownership of Private Property that would encourage citizens to make long-term and sustained investments. 4) Joint Ventures in the Oil and Gas Industries that would be a good opportunity for the expansion of cooperation and the strengthening of sustained ties; 5) Free Trade among Persian Gulf State and also free trade zones through joint ventures. 6) Supplying Water and Natural Gas required by regional states; 7) Activating the North-South Corridor that has an important role in the expansion of trade, strengthening of relations and promotion of peace and security in the region; 8) Developing Tourism between costal states of the Persian Gulf; 9) Economic and Financial Cooperation for Assisting Islamic States that would help Islamic nations such as Palestine, Sudan or Somalia to overcome on their poverty; 10) founding of a security cooperation organization to preserve regional security and keep the Persian Gulf region free from tension and prevent the transmission of any challenge and insecurity by outsiders; 11) Educational, Scientific, Technological and Research Exchanges which could speed up the development of the Persian Gulf states; 12) Cooperation for the Protection of the Environment in the Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman (Simbar & Ghorbani, 2011, pp. 107-109).
According to the above mentioned points of President Ahmadinejad, it should be said any action leading to the creation of stronger bonds among regional states and nations that will contribute to the protection and strengthening of peace, security and friendliness in the region will be welcomed by Iranian. Also from his point of view, regional states could, in harmony and collaboration, turn the Persian Gulf into a gulf of peace and amity.
As a conclusion it should be mentioned that there is a big gap between the US security policies toward Iran in relation with the Persian Gulf region before and after the Islamic revolution in Iran in 1979. While before Islamic revolution the Iran’s Shah was as gendarme of the region and main supporter of the US interests in the region but immediately after the revolution and overthrown of the Pahlavi’s regime and beginning of Islamic revolutionary government in Iran (1979) changed nature of relations between Iran and United States. After Victory of the Islamic Revolution, Iran rejected being regional gendarme. Strategic importance of Iran for United States made the relations of two countries more complicated. The hostage crisis on November 4, 1979 to January 20, 1981was the first contradiction between Iranian new government and the United States. United States re-acted the new revolutionary government by Carter doctrine and then it was continued by next administrations with new policies including Reagan and George HW Bush’s policies and then was continued with Dual Containment policy, establishment of the Gulf Cooperation Council and policy of direct presence in the region by the Bush administration.
Discussion of the US security policies toward Iran in the Persian Gulf in this chapter proved that the US policies were posed unilateral and without participation of regional countries including Iran. So the region suffers so many crisis and problems because of these imposed policies.
EVALUATION OF THE U.S. POLICIES IN THE PERSIAN GULF TOWARD IRAN
After discussing the main policies of the United States administrations toward Iran related to the Persian Gulf region in the previous chapter, the purpose of this chapter is to evaluate US policies toward Iran related to the Persian Gulf region. The results of such evaluation will help us to understand US policies toward Iran in the Persian Gulf region and determine whether they were successful or not. And if the US policies were not successful toward Iran, what were the reasons? For evaluating the US policies, we presented, in the previous chapter, a comprehensive study of the US policies toward Iran related to the Persian Gulf region and in this chapter we evaluate these policies to be able to arrive at a conclusion about the current conditions of the region. In other words, it is the task of the researcher to investigate the success or failure of the American policies toward the Islamic Republic of Iran. To do so, this chapter will concern itself mainly with the discussion of the following points: the “Twin Pillars Policy” or “Nixon-Kissinger Doctrine” will be evaluated; the evaluation of the “Carter Doctrine”; the evaluation of the “Dual Containment Policy” of the Clinton administration; and finally, the process of evaluation of the indirect policy of establishing “The Gulf Cooperation Council”.
4.2 Evaluation of the “Twin Pillars Policy”
The “Twin Pillars Policy” or “Nixon-Kissinger Doctrine” was a vital principle for the security of the Persian Gulf region and was in place till the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979. During this period, the Shah’s regime was the regional gendarme and maintainer of U.S. interests. This bilateral relation was for the mutual benefit of Americans interests in the region and the Shah’s regime, which was supported by the Americans and its European allies. However; with the collapse of the Shah’s regime in 1979, the U.S. faced a new and changed situation in Iran. The new revolutionary leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran imposed basic challenges against American objectives throughout the region. The Islamic Republic in Iran sought to export the Islamic Revolution and posed serious threats against American interests in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf region. The collapse of the “Twin Pillars Policy” in 1979 was due to two important factors: 1) the overthrow of the Shah Pahlavi regime in Iran and replacement by the Islamic Republic; 2) the invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union. As the Soviet Union attacked Afghanistan, US interests were challenged throughout an area from the Persian Gulf to North Africa that was called the “Crescent of Crisis” by Zbigniew Brzezinski, the U.S. National Security Advisor (Simbar & Ghorbani, p. 97). These two factors resulted in a drastic change in U.S. security policies in the region and led to a new U.S. policy in the Carter administration known as the “Carter Doctrine”.
On the other hand, the fall of the monarchy in Iran and the Soviet Union invasion of Afghanistan at the end of the 1970s was the main reason for America’s acceptance of the role of security guarantor for the Persian Gulf region. The oil embargo of Arab countries that resulted in an increase of petroleum prices throughout the west in the midst of the 1973 “Yom Kippur war” had an important impact on the Carter Doctrine (Jeffrey R. Macris, 2007, p. 426).
Iran’s regional policy after the Islamic Revolution in 1979 and in the 1980s was in accordance with its efforts to overcome its isolation in the world and especially in the Middle East and Persian Gulf sub region. During that period, Iran had seven main objectives: (1) defeating Iraq militarily; (2) trying to separate Iraq from other Persian Gulf states; (3) trying to create legitimacy among the Persian Gulf Arab peoples, especially the Shia population; (4) maintaining cordial relations with non-Arab neighbors such as Pakistan and Turkey: (5) carving a new basis of activity in Soviet-occupied Afghanistan by riding the Islamist revival; (6) a deepening alliance with Syria in the Levant and to exert influence on the Shia community in Lebanon; (7) supporting the Palestinians in the Arab-Israeli conflict and Islamization of the Arab struggle against Israel (Hinnebusch & Ehteshami, 2002). As a result, according to the above-mentioned factors, the objective of the foreign policy of the new Islamic regime in Iran was in contrast to the U.S. policies during the “Twin Pillars Policy”, especially those related to the Persian Gulf region. Later upcoming events such as the American diplomats being held hostage by revolutionary students proved that the U.S. could not preserve its interests in the Persian Gulf region as in the past and should adopt new policies to deal with the new situation. It can therefore be concluded that although The “Twin Pillars Policy” of Nixon-Kissinger supported the interests of the U.S. in the Persian Gulf and also provided external support for the Shah’s regime, its dependent nature on the external powers immediately after the revolution was first target of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
4.3 Evaluation of the “Carter Doctrine”
There were three major reasons for the Carter administration’s strategy regarding the Middle East and especially the Persian Gulf area: 1) the Islamic Revolution in 1979; 2) the invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union, and 3) the Arab-Israeli Peace Process.
1) The Islamic Revolution in 1979
The main reason for the Carter Doctrine was the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979 because before the Revolution, Iran under Pahlavi’s regime was one of the main supporters of US interests in the region. As mentioned in previous, chapters, according to the Twin Pillars Policy or the Nixon-Kissinger Doctrine, after the withdrawal of Britain from East of Suez and the Persian Gulf region, Iran played the role of the gendarme in the region while Saudi Arabia had the role of financial supporter. Immediately after the Islamic Revolution, the US diplomats were held hostage and the U.S. embassy was captured by revolutionary students, so pressure of public opinion in America and the actions of the new Islamic revolutionary regime against U.S. interests in the region forced the Carter administration to adopt a new doctrinal strategy for the Persian Gulf region.
Analysis of the Carter Doctrine regarding