There are fresh tensions in the Gulf region, but the country being painted as the aggressor this time is just 300km across the famous stretch of water - Iran. The unrest is being billed as one between the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) nations and their Persian neighbour.

The foreign ministers of the six nations - Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates recently met in Riyadh. 

They released a statement criticising what they called Iran's blatant interference in internal affairs, particularly in Bahrain and Kuwait.

This comes after Iran's objection to Saudi Arabia sending in troops to Bahrain during the uprising there. In return, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, said on Monday the GCC statement was issued under the pressure of the US government and its allies.

This episode of Inside Story discusses what 'Iranian meddling' may or may not amount to, and just what the GCC and Iran are achieving by ratcheting up the rhetoric at this time.

Inside Story, with presenter Kamahl Santamaria, discusses with guests: Hussein Shobokshi, a columnist for Asharq Alawsat newspaper; Ghanbar Naderi, a political commentator and jounalist; and Fahad Shulemi, a security analyst and a former colonel in the Kuwaiti army. 

This episode of Inside Story aired from Tuesday, April 5, 2011. 

Source: Al Jazeera