UAE Seeks Written Guarantee from Obama on Iran

May 8, 2015  

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is seeking a written guarantee from the United States with regards to Iran, its ambassador to Washington said on Thursday, according to Reuters.

That request will come at President Barack Obama’s Camp David meeting with the six Gulf Cooperation Council nations, the ambassador said.

“We are looking for (some form of) security guarantee given the behavior of Iran in the region,” Ambassador Youssef Al Otaiba was quoted as having said at a Washington think tank.

“In the past, we have survived with a gentleman’s agreement with the United States about security … I think today we need something in writing. We need something institutionalized,” he added.

Obama has invited GCC leaders for meetings in Washington and at the Camp David presidential retreat on May 13-14, an offer he made following the conclusion of a framework nuclear agreement with Iran.

The GCC is comprised of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar.

Arab governments have been expressing their concern about the terms of a potential nuclear deal with Iran. The major Sunni states have warned that a final agreement could allow Shiite-dominated Iran, their regional rival, to keep the technologies needed to produce nuclear weapons.

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal, recently said that Iran should not be given “deals it does not deserve”.

The Arab concern over the deal with Iran is actually shared with Israel, as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has repeatedly warned against the framework agreement.

The concern in Saudi Arabia over the nuclear deal with rival Iran is so great that a columnist in a Saudi-controlled government newspaper recently expressed support for Netanyahu’s warnings against a deal with Iran.

Meanwhile, a report Thursday in The Washington Times suggested that Obama might offer Saudi Arabia advanced GBU-28 bunker buster bombs – so far only provided to Israel – in order to beef up Saudi Arabia’s ability to lead Gulf countries in defending themselves against Iranian moves in the region.

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