Located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula and home to the oil-rich, Western-allied countries of Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, the Persian Gulf is usually viewed as an Arab resort and not as a place of oppression and aggression.
But oil is the not the only thing to be found amidst the tranquil streams of the Gulf. Beneath the veneer of tranquility and wealth lies the harsh reality of undemocratic, authoritarian states that regard human rights with contempt – cowardly regimes that stifle dissent and crush freedom. And the recent, massive $60 billion arms deal – the largest ever to be signed between the US and Saudi Arabia – might bring further uncertainty to this otherwise apparently quiet region. Continue reading