On came as a sudden shock due to

On June 5, 2017, the Gulf Cooperation Council led side by
Saudi Arabia, and UAE kicked off a campaign to teach Qatar a lesson for going
against the agreement the council made. This has created tension, which seems
not to end soon. The tension in the gulf has been there from the past, but the
current crisis came as a sudden shock due to the intensity it has.  The current
divergence is more serious than the previous crisis of 2014 where major GCC
members withdrew their ambassadors from Doha (Gordon). The Qatar crisis had an impact on the
political and economical stability of the Middle East as well as issues with security
implications in the Persian Gulf.

The rupture came after the remarks from the Emir of Qatar and
the reported April ransom payment by Qatar to Iran. This engagement quivers the
Saudi led GCC allies. However, the root of the problem goes deeper than that;
the crisis emanates from the deep differences that have existed between Qatar
and other GCC countries since the Arab uprising. If Saudi Arabia and its GCC allies exaggerate their
arm, they could drive Qatar to appoint it can opt to align herself with Iran
and Turkey, which would further thwart the Gulf union and cause higher tensions
(Gordon). The Middle East is a dreamer’s utopia: A place whose renowned urban
is the urban of peace, but whose most corporate characteristic so often seems
to be its perpetual war. (Roberts, 1995). The primary cause of the crisis is
the funding of and political support of groups GCC members have banned. The
Islamist groups are connected to the Muslim Brotherhood and AL Qaeda (Gordon
11; Stephens 45). Worse still Qatar has been in business dealings with Iranians
affiliates in the region. Qatar appears to have brokered a deal with Iran in
which in return secures release of 26 Royals from Qatar. Qatar is said to have
brokered deal in which the Royals were released in return a princely sum was
paid to the client, a militia called Kataib Hezbollah (Stephens, 41). Saudi
Arabia and its GCC allies closed sea and land routes Qatar; they further cancelled
flights, expelled Qatar nationals and withdrew their diplomats from Qatar. A
number of Qatar citizens (59) were labelled as the terrorist supporter and
finally prohibited Aljazeera and even further banned the expression of sympathy
to Qatar (Gordon). The campaign, however, was unfruitful as this Anti-Qatar
force failed to quickly, force Qatar to agree to their demands.  The July deadline passed, a new list of
demand came which were not met, and the conflict worsened to a crisis, which
seems to be a long-term division. The political unity and stability of the
Middle East have been in jeopardy.  Qatar
still maintaining a good working relationship with the United States of America
and began its public relations against UAE (Dahle, 4). A sudden harsher action from Saudi will further worsen
the tensions in the region, which could create a prolonged economic and
diplomatic impasse. This could have a negative impact on the Al-Udeid military
base camp in Qatar by the USA. This could have an impact on countering the ISIS
coalition in the region. The worst the crisis can lead to is a plunge into a
military conflict in the gulf (Gordon).

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Half of the world’s identified oil and gas raw materials are situated in
the Middle East and the North Africa region; the region is popularly referred
as MENA.  The majority of these countries’
economies rely on these commodities for export (Zafirov 192).  Qatar is
one of the determinants of oil for exchange, and one of the richest countries
on earth hence could marginally suffer from the Blockade and economic boycott
(Lynch 14). Qatar while suffering the blockade from GCC quickly found refuge
from Turkey who provided a source of foods and other goods alongside military
assistance (Dahle 4). It is unlikely for Qatar to suffer from the economic
sanctions or concessions posed by Saudi GCC allies. Qatar has a sovereign
wealth of over $ 300 billion for a population of 300,000 citizens. This ensures
the country will not feel a serious financial pinch in the near future.  In addition, because the Gulf economies are
similar, this means that Qatar has little exchange to the Gulf countries hence
suffering a less significant loss to their economy.  It is only UAE, which constitutes of Qatar’s
top five trading partners. Because the effects are so marginal, the GCC allies
can maintain their sanctions for a very long time (Gordon).

The main security tension to Saudi, UAE and its GCC allies in Iran. For
the last decade, the GCC has always voted against Iran continuing with their
nuclear enrichment as per UNSC resolutions and a signing a bilateral counter-terrorism
agreement with an exception of Qatar. Qatar has seemed to enjoyed good
political ties with Iran, as they are the only Gulf country apart from Oman
that congratulated Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on his re-election.  The April transaction that involved
Kata’ib  al-Hezbollah and Qatar, which
are linked to Iran according to Financial Times. Kata’ib  al-Hezbollah is a Shia backed Iran militia, a
transaction worth $700 million (Gordon). Due to this, transaction tensions
surged up in a sustained media onslaught that has portrayed Qatar as a threat
to Persian Gulf stability and security. 
This has been among many GCC members often even in the public events,
for example, during a military graduation ceremony on 23rd of May
2017.  This has remained to be the heart
of the lasts argument on Qatar (Ulrichsen 9). While it is debatable that Qatar behaviour
during the Arab uprising was mischievous, there seems a competition for the
leadership of GCC as opposed to genuine security issues. It is unquestionable
of how GCC allies feel about Radical Islam and Iran. Furthermore, it is
unquestionable of their feelings towards Qatar’s approach to both issues (Ulrichsen,
3). The more troubling and worse the
ongoing Qatar’s resistance to the demands of GCC ally states are handled, the
more possible the union of Qatar with both Turkey & Iran. This will then
move on into a diplomatic crisis growth, economic as well as the rise of
military (Gordon). Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are currently
preoccupied fully in the country of Yemen. This makes them unlikely to be ready
to take another regional conflict. However, such a development can be dangerous
if GCC feels the Qatar threat is very significant to endanger their security
interests or existence similarly to Saudi’s decision in 2015.  There are chances of Saudi opting a military
act the very way it responded to Yemen thereafter if Qatari leadership
continues in their current political plunge (Gordon). Qatar knows the US has an
interest in ensuring there is security in the region as long as their military
base is still in Qatar (Gordon). The US shows little interest to move its base
out of Qatar. (Marc Lynch, 2). The base is a very critical component
of the US campaign against Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen.  This is expressed by US refusal to remove
their Al-Udeid air base in Qatar.  The US
recently praised the base for their “enduring commitment to regional
security.” The US also seems to lack alternatives to the state to Al-Udeid
air base in Qatar (Gordon). This has provided an effective military deterrent (Marc Lynch, 2). Their campaign against Islamic State
is significant, and they will do all to maintain it. The Qatari leadership
seeing this advantaged have vowed not to give in to the terms from Riyadh. They
have termed it “presumed guardianship which compromises the independence
of its foreign policy” (Gordon).

The Qatar crisis is a serious diplomatic issue that needs to be solved
urgently; it can affect the economic, political stability and security of the
gulf if the crisis is mishandled further. The tension in the gulf has been there from the past, but
the current crisis came as a sudden shock due to the intensity it has. Qatar knows the US has an interest in ensuring there
is security in the region as long as their military base is still in Qatar.
Qatar is one of the determinants of oil for exchange, and one of the richest
countries on earth hence could marginally suffer from the Blockade and economic
boycott. The contentions
being on the issues on how to deal with Iran, Political Islam and regional
leadership which Qatar seems to be drifting away and creating a rebellion in
the Persian Gulf. The crisis has ended up being speculative, with the
sharp division from Saudi Arabia, which has led to more confusion in solving
the crisis.