Middle East Research and Information Project: Critical Coverage of the Middle East Since 1971

Aside from the two superpowers, whose superpower most observers believe to be waning, there is a third, potential superpower haunting Western Europe -- which is Europe itself. If only it could get it together. And what better occasion to get together than to protect “our oil” from the awful ayatollahs?

Last September 15, a fleet of eight Italian warships, including three minesweepers and three frigates, set sail for the Gulf, amid cheers and protests. On the eve of the sailing, Defense Minister Valerio Zanone explained the strategic significance of the controversial decision: “it establishes a European connection outside the geographical limits of NATO.”

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How to cite this article:

Diane Johnstone "Italy to the Gulf—and Back," Middle East Report 151 (March/April 1988).