The region today referred to as the Middle East has always interested the greatest world empires. From the times of Alexander the Great through those of the Roman Empire, the Arab expansion, the Mongols, the Ottomans, and indeed right up to the present, this area at the crossroads of three continents has drawn the attention and interference of foreign peoples. Some of them came to conquer, others simply to pass through on their way to other locales, but all considered the area in some way important to their imperial and/or commercial goals and aspirations.
Priess '93, David Michael, "Collective Security in the Gulf: An Analysis of the Development of the Gulf Cooperation Council and Regional Security as a Function of the Council" (1993). Honors Projects. Paper 12.