UAE joins Saudi Arabia and Israel, to back Trump's new Iran strategy

UAE joins Saudi Arabia and Israel, to back Trump's new Iran strategy
The UAE has become one of a handful of nations to back an announcement by US President Donald Trump to revise or tear up a nuclear agreement with Iran.
3 min read
14 October, 2017

The UAE has joined Saudi Arabia and Israel in their backing of a controversial new stance by US President Donald Trump towards Iran.

Abu Dhabi said it approves of an announcement by Trump on Friday that he will refuse to re-certify the 2015 landmark deal between Iran and several world powers.

It also backs the more aggressive line taken by Trump towards the Tehran regime, including tough new sanctions against Iran's Republican Guard Corps paramilitary force.

"For too long, the Iranian regime has spread destruction and chaos throughout the region and beyond. The nuclear deal - the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (formal title of nuclear agreement) - offered Iran an opportunity to engage responsibly with the international community," read a statement by the UAE foreign ministry.

"Instead, it only emboldened Iran to intensify its provocative and destabilising behaviour."

Abu Dhabi said Trump's new strategy was essential to confront Iran's "growing ballistic missile programme, support for terrorist organisations such as Hizballah and the Houthis, cyber-attacks, interference in its neighbours' affairs, and threats to the freedom of navigation" a statement on UAE's WAM state news agency read.

It follows applause from UAE's key Gulf ally Saudi Arabia about Trump's announcement on Friday evening, which has led to criticism from several US allies, including France and the UK.

Right-wing Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu also welcomed Trump's more aggressive approach to Iran.

It follows weeks of speculation and campaign promises from Trump that the US would end its participation in the deal with Iran, which offered sanctions relief in exchange for Tehran curbing its nuclear ambitions.

"The UAE welcomes and endorses the new US strategy. We reaffirm our commitment to working with the US and our allies to counter the full range of Iran's destabilising activities and its support for extremists," the statement added.

Riyadh and Abu Dhabi have become close allies, particularly under Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's rule.

Both countries are concerned about the rise of Iran's influence in the region and are taking part in the military intervention against Tehran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.

There are still differences between the two countries on the anti-Houthi campaign, analysts say, with UAE cementing its influence in Yemen's south, particularly among separatist movements. 

Meanwhile Saudi Arabia is more open in its support for President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE are united on the blockade and diplomatic embargo on Gulf state Qatar. Both countries have accused Qatar of backing extremist groups and being too close to Iran.