Fear of Persia: Saudis call for a Gulf Arab Union

Some Arab analysts are talking about the likelihood of a

'confederation' rather than a full union.

According to media reports, Oman, which has a long and independent history of its own is reportedly cool to the idea of a union and did not send its king to attend the summit in Riyadh.

The UAE too was not represented at the highest level. Kuwait and Qatar have apparently called for a greater clarity on the nature of the union to be built.

Bahrain appears to be eager for an early and solid union. But Saudi Arabia appears to have decided to push for a wider arrangement rather than rush into a bilateral integration with Bahrain. The annual GCC summit in December now is expected to debate the final proposals for a union.

Meanwhile, the opposition activists in Shia majority Bahrain have rejected any union with Sunni Saudi Arabia. Iran was equally vocal in warning against the plan.

Tehran, which in the past had asserted territorial claims over

Bahrain, is unlikely to sit back and quietly watch a Saudi 'takeover'.

As it copes with the confrontation between Washington and Tehran, Delhi must begin to pay a lot more attention to the equally consequential conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

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