The withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq prompted Iraq to redefine its post-war relations with key countries, namely those of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Iran, Turkey, and Egypt, and try to reclaim the leading regional role that the country played during the Saddam Hussein era. The process of regional activism is complicated when it comes to the GCC countries. The GCC countries welcomed the 2003 invasion since it would remove their enemy, Saddam Hussein, but they soon realized it had created a power vacuum that was filled by Iran, their traditional rival. They have not yet developed a strategy for collective or bilateral engagement with Iraq.
Paper produced within the framework of the IAI-GMF strategic partnership.