Kuwait and Iran: Reflecting on Regional Relations

13th Sep 2021 15:00 - 13th Sep 2021 17:00

Location: Online: Registration Open

After the 2011 Arab Spring protests, relations between Kuwait and Iran faced a number of challenges stemming from Kuwait's support for the GCC intervention in Yemen, the arrest of Iranian spy cells by the Kuwaiti authorities, and the maritime border crisis. The proximity of Kuwait to broader regional dynamics - notably Iran's rivalry with Saudi Arabia - also dramatically affected the local political environment, leading to an increasingly polarised political, social and religious environment.Despite this, relations between Kuwait and Iran appear stable. 

In recent years, regular efforts to mediate relations meant that crises between Iran and Kuwait did not go beyond the diplomatic borders. Yet amidst a changing domestic and regional environment, Kuwait's relations with Iran face a number of important questions:

  1. How will the coming to power of Sheikh Nawaf Al-Sabah shape relations between the two states?
  2. How will relations between the two states affect social and political dynamics in Kuwait?
  3. What role will regional states such as Saudi Arabia play in Kuwaiti-Iranian relations?
  4. What do positive Kuwaiti-Iranian relations mean for Saudi Arabia's foreign policy calculations vis a vis Iran?

This SEPAD zoom workshop brings together experts from the Gulf and beyond to discuss these questions. The event will be moderated by Dr Rashed Alrasheed and will feature contributions from:

Dr Hamad Albloshi, Assistant professor in the Political Science, Kuwait University

Dr Lindsey Stephenson, Princeton University, Department of Near Eastern Studies

Dr Chay Clemens, Research Fellow, National University of Singapore, Middle East Institute

Dr Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, Fellow for the Middle East, Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy

Dr Courtney Freer, Assistant Professorial Research Fellow, London School of Economics and Political Science

Dr Daniel Tavana, Postdoctoral Fellow, the Council on Middle East Studies at the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies, Yale University

To Join the workshop, register here.