As details emerge of the deal the U.S. is about to cut with Iran — a deal that would not dismantle a single Iranian centrifuge and would leave Tehran in striking distance of rapidly building an arsenal of nuclear weapons — leaders of moderate Arab states in the Persian Gulf are horrified. They deeply fear a nuclear-armed Iran and have long pressed the White House to do everything necessary to stop this from happening. Now they fear they are being betrayed.
“A deal with Iran would be like discovering your partner of many years is cheating on you with someone he or she claims they hate,” a senior Arab official from a U.S. ally in the region told the Wall Street Journal.
The Saudis, reportedly, are in the process of purchasing nuclear warheads from Pakistan, so convinced they have become that the Obama administration has no idea how to stop Iran.
Watch for more leaks of this nature in days ahead.
The Journal reported that “U.S. allies in the Persian Gulf, particularly Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, are also all warily watching the unfolding agreement in Geneva. The U.S. has forged close alliances with these countries over the past three decades in an effort to create a bulwark against Iran in the Middle East. Washington has showered billions of dollars of sophisticated weapons on the Gulf nations and stationed key U.S. naval and air assets there. Bahrain, Qatar, and the U.A.E. have also developed successful financial and trade centers in the Gulf, fueled, in part, by Iran’s isolation from international economy. A detente between Washington and Iran could significantly shake up Washington’s security calculations in the Mideast and challenge these countries’ long-term interests, according to regional diplomats. This, in part, explains these Gulf Arab states’ strong pushback against the Obama administration’s diplomacy.”
“Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. have also strongly criticized the U.S. backing away from expected military strikes in August against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime,” the Journal article noted. “Arab diplomats believed such strikes could have helped topple Mr. Assad, Iran’s closest ally in the region. Instead, the U.S. and Russia forged a deal with the Syrian government to dismantle its chemical-weapons program, which the Saudis and Emiratis now fear is providing Mr. Assad with new legitimacy. The Iranian and Syrian deals in such a short time have disrupted the long-standing U.S. alliances. Mr. Kerry visited Riyadh this week and is scheduled to travel to Abu Dhabi on Sunday. But U.S. officials acknowledged they needed to do more to bring the Gulf countries behind their Iran diplomacy.”