Security in the Persian Gulf Region
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Siraf , an ancient Sassanid port that was located on the northern shore of the Persian gulf, located in what is now the Iranian province of Bushehr , is an example of such commercial port. Siraf, was also significant in that it had a flourishing commercial trade with China by the 4th century, having first established connection with the far east in AD. Portuguese expansion into the Indian Ocean in the early 16th century following Vasco da Gama 's voyages of exploration saw them battle the Ottomans up the coast of the Persian Gulf. In , a Portuguese force led by commander Antonio Correia invaded Bahrain to take control of the wealth created by its pearl industry.
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The Persian Gulf was therefore opened by Persians to a flourishing commerce with the Portuguese, Dutch, French, Spanish and the British merchants, who were granted particular privileges. The Ottoman Empire reasserted itself into Eastern Arabia in Britain utilized the Persian Gulf as the entry point for the supply chain in order to make use of the Trans-Iranian Railway. The piracy in the Persian Gulf was prevalent until the 19th century. Many of the most notable historical instances of piracy were perpetrated by the Al Qasimi tribe.
This led to the British mounting the Persian Gulf campaign of From until , the British Empire maintained varying degrees of political control over some of the Persian Gulf states, including the United Arab Emirates originally called the Trucial States  and at various times Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, and Qatar through the British Residency of the Persian Gulf.
The Persian Gulf is home to many islands such as Bahrain , an Arab state. Geographically the biggest island in the Persian Gulf is Qeshm island located in the Strait of Hormuz and belongs to Iran. In recent years, there has also been addition of artificial islands for tourist attractions , such as The World Islands in Dubai and The Pearl-Qatar in Doha. Persian Gulf islands are often also historically significant, having been used in the past by colonial powers such as the Portuguese and the British in their trade or as acquisitions for their empires.
The Persian gulf's strategic location has made it an ideal place for human development over time. Today, many major cities of the Middle East are located in this region. Khasab , Musandam , Oman. Dubai , UAE. Manama , Bahrain. Khobar City, Saudi Arabia. Kuwait City , Kuwait. Bandar Abbas , Iran. The wildlife of the Persian Gulf is diverse, and entirely unique due to the Persian gulf's geographic distribution and its isolation from the international waters only breached by the narrow Strait of Hormuz.
The Persian Gulf has hosted some of the most magnificent marine fauna and flora, some of which are near extirpation or at serious environmental risk. From corals, to dugongs , Persian Gulf is a diverse cradle for many species who depend on each other for survival. However, the Persian gulf is not as biologically diverse as the Red Sea. Overall, the wild life of the Persian Gulf is endangered from both global factors, and regional, local negligence. Most pollution is from ships; land generated pollution counts as the second most common source of pollution. Along the mediterranean regions of the Arabian Sea, including the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea , the Gulf of Kutch , the Gulf of Suez , the Gulf of Aqaba , the Gulf of Aden , and the Gulf of Oman , dolphins and finless porpoises are the most common marine mammals in the waters, while larger whales and orcas are rarer today.
In , waters of the Persian Gulf along Abu Dhabi were revealed to hold the world's largest population of Indo-Pacific humpbacked dolphins.
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One of the more unusual marine mammals living in the Persian Gulf is the dugong Dugong dugon. Also called "sea cows", for their grazing habits and mild manner resembling livestock, dugongs have a life expectancy similar to that of humans and they can grow up to 3 metres 9. These gentle mammals feed on sea grass and are closer relatives of certain land mammals than are dolphins and whales. Uncontrolled hunting has also had a negative impact on the survival of dugongs.
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However, the current number of dugongs is dwindling and it is not clear how many are currently alive or what their reproductive trend is. The Persian Gulf is also home to many migratory and local birds. There is great variation in color, size, and type of the bird species that call the Persian gulf home. Concerns regarding the endangerment of the kalbaensis subspecies of the collared kingfishers were raised by conservationists due to real state development by the United Arab Emirates and Oman.
A UN plan to protect the mangroves as a biological reserve was ignored by the emirate of Sharjah, which allowed the dredging of a channel that bisects the wetland and construction of an adjacent concrete walkway. Real estate development in the Persian Gulf by the United Arab Emirates and Oman also raised concerns that habitats of species such as the hawksbill turtle , greater flamingo , and booted warbler may be destroyed. Recent statistics and observations show that dolphins are at danger of entrapment in purse seine fishing nets and exposure to chemical pollutants; perhaps the most alarming sign is the "mass suicides" committed by dolphins off Iran's Hormozgan province, which are not well understood, but are suspected to be linked with a deteriorating marine environment from water pollution from oil, sewage, and industrial run offs.
The Persian Gulf is home to over species of fish, most of which are native. Compared to the Red Sea, the coral reefs in the Persian Gulf are relatively few and far between. Recent years have seen a drastic decline in the coral population in the Persian gulf, partially owing to global warming but majorly due to irresponsible dumping by Arab states like the UAE and Bahrain.
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Aside from direct damage to the coral, the construction waste creates "traps" for marine life in which they are trapped and die. A great example of this symbiosis are the mangroves in the Persian gulf, which require tidal flow and a combination of fresh and salt water for growth, and act as nurseries for many crabs, small fish, and insects; these fish and insects are the source of food for many of the marine birds that feed on them. They are as crucial an indicator of biological health on the surface of the water, as the corals are to biological health of the Persian gulf in deeper waters.
Mangroves' ability to survive the salt water through intricate molecular mechanisms, their unique reproductive cycle, and their ability to grow in the most oxygen-deprived waters have allowed them extensive growth in hostile areas of the Persian gulf. This has had a negative impact on the crustaceans that rely on the mangrove, and in turn on the species that feed on them. Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins off the southern shore of Iran, around Hengam Island.
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Spinner dolphins leaping in the Persian gulf. Critically endangered Arabian humpback whales being the most isolated, and the only resident population in the world off Dhofar , Oman. Palm and sunset in Minoo Island.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. An arm of the Indian Ocean in western Asia. This article is about the body of water.
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For other uses, see Persian Gulf disambiguation. See also: Strait of Hormuz. Main article: Persian Gulf naming dispute. See also: British Residency of the Persian Gulf. See also: List of islands in the Persian Gulf.
Doha , Qatar. Al-Faw , Iraq. See also: Gulf of Oman desert and semi-desert. This article contains weasel words : vague phrasing that often accompanies biased or unverifiable information. Such statements should be clarified or removed. July Dugong mother and her offspring in shallow water. Archived from the original on Retrieved International Hydrographic Organization.
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More From the Los Angeles Times. Some three decades into the life of the Islamic Republic, the Iranian regime has yet to devise and implement a coherent national security policy or even a set of guidelines on which its regional and international security policies are based.
Appearances to the contrary, Iranian foreign and security policies in relation to the Persian Gulf region have featured certain consistent themes, or, more aptly, areas of continued attention as well as tension. The first feature revolves around the broader military and diplomatic position that Iran occupies in relation to the Persian Gulf itself.
The most problematic of these have been Iran-UAE relations and the tensions surrounding contending claims by both countries over the islands of Abu Musa and the Greater and Lesser Tunbs.
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Despite persistent tensions over the three islands, particularly since , there is another, equally significant aspect to the relationship between the UAE and Iran — the commercial trade between them. A history of territorial and other disputes, often made all the more intractable by the advent of the modern state and by age-old cultural and linguistic differences, has resulted in deep-seated mutual mistrust and acrimony.