With a nuclear deal set to expire, ongoing tensions in the region and an uncertain US presidential election, there may soon be an increase in hostilities in the Gulf region.
In countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain, it's now official policy that women should go to college and work outside the home. But cultural pressure to marry and have kids remains strong.
Some of the major events in US-Iran relations highlight the differences between the nations' views, but others presented real opportunities for reconciliation.
Any disruption to shipping in the narrow seaway could impact oil prices and ratchet up geopolitical tensions.
If the US makes good on the president's threat, Iran's heritage won't be the only thing damaged. Washington's reputation would also take a hit.
Energy-wise, the fallout from the attack on Saudi oil facilities has so far been very muted. The surge in oil production in the US over the past decade helps explain why.
A fifth of the world's oil travels through the narrow waterway.
A showdown with Iran over some oil tanker attacks in the Persian Gulf could push the US into its next Mideast war, writes a scholar of military aggression.
Qatar's decision to aid Turkey in the face of American sanctions against the country may finally be a snub too far for its close relationship with the US.
Without strategic clarity from the US, the Saudis and their allies are under little pressure to thaw their frozen relationship with Qatar.
Australia's recently announced review of its national fuel stockpiles is timely indeed. The country is almost totally reliant on oil being shipped through some of the world's most contested regions.
By refusing to take in Syrian refugees, the Gulf States' governments prove they don't care much about the humanitarian crisis on their doorstep.
Islamic State has claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing that killed 27 worshippers at a Shia mosque.
Hype over the absence of the Saudi king at US-Gulf Cooperation Council summit obscures the real issues facing the US and its Arab allies.