Security Arrangements of the Persian Gulf and the Strategic Competition of Iran and USA

Document Type: Original Article

Abstract

Before the beginning of the European colonialism era, the Persian Gulf was a communication link between Asia, Europe and Africa, through which silk, spices and other needed goods were transported into the Mediterranean. With the discovery of the Cape of Good Hope and the flourishing of the southern African routes, in order to control the trade routes, colonialists entered the arena, and worked extensively to set up bases in the Persian Gulf, the Indian subcontinent and further in the Far East, in a way that in early 16th Century this region was first noted by the Portuguese and Spanish colonialists , and following the demise of the Portuguese naval power, for some time there was a power vacuum in the region; such a way that the governance of the region changed hands among local powers of the Safavieh, Afsharieh and Zandieh of Iran and the rulers of Oman etc. On the other hand, although European actors were involved in the power struggles and completion with local rulers, nevertheless there was a strong competition among themselves in dominating the Persian Gulf and the Hormoz Straits, to an extent that the extent of the rivalry between the Dutch, British, French and Russians at times were drawn into local wars within Europe. Ultimately, Britain beat its rivals and established its rule in the region for two centuries. However, in view of this history we observe that this region has been of particular importance throughout history for numerous reasons. In this article, we attempt to review the contemporary aspects of the importance of this region and its effect on the relations of two important powers i.e. Iran and USA.

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