The war in Iraq has created a crisis of insecurity for its neighbours in the Gulf.

While some may have understood the need for Saddam Hussein's regime to be toppled, they were clearly not prepared for the political fall out of the war to the region.

The current sectarian violence between Sunnis and Shia has opened old wounds which threaten to disrupt political stability in the Gulf.

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There are now fears that Shia political dominance in Iraq, which is backed by Iran, may create rumblings in some of the neighbouring Gulf countries which have Shia communities.

Political observers say developments in Lebanon, Kuwait, Yemen, Syria and Bahrain in recent years have shown that a regional Shia political resurgence can not ignored.   

Observers are concerned that the absence of normal relations between Iraq and its Gulf neighbours will create a vacuum which Iran will naturally fill.

They say Gulf countries must continue to engage both Iraq and Iran in order to maintain the balance of power in the region.

Inside Iraq this week examines the impact of the Iraq war on the political future and stability of its Gulf neighbours.

Our guests this week:

Ghassan Atiyyah, director of the Iraq Foundation for Development and Democracy, Hassan Al-Ansari, director of the Gulf Studies Center in Qatar and Michael Hudson from Georgetown University.

Watch part one of this episode of Inside Iraq on YouTube

Watch part two of this episode of Inside Iraq on YouTube

This episode of Inside Iraq aired on Friday, April 18, 2008


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