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Israel, UAE said pressing US for security guarantees from Iran

Sources cited by Bloomberg say Jerusalem and Abu Dhabi are separately lobbying Washington to establish regional defense plan in case new nuclear deal is signed with Tehran

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett (left) meets with UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in the latter's Abu Dhabi palace on December 13, 2021. (Haim Zach/GPO)
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett (left) meets with UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in the latter's Abu Dhabi palace on December 13, 2021. (Haim Zach/GPO)

The United Arab Emirates and Israel are pressuring the United States to provide them with security guarantees against Iran, according to a report Monday.

The two countries have been in contact with Washington officials about formulating a coherent defense plan for the region in case a new Iran nuclear deal is signed, Bloomberg reported, citing several sources familiar with the matter.

Israel and the UAE reportedly approached the Biden administration separately, but have been coordinating their approaches.

The report said Jerusalem and Abu Dhabi want the plan to include the bolstering of missile defenses and intelligence sharing.

According to the report, Israeli and Emirati officials have voiced concerns that a new nuclear deal will give Iran a gusher of oil money with which to further fund and arm its regional proxies.

The UAE is part of a Saudi-led military coalition that supports Yemen’s government against the Iran-backed Houthi rebels, who have repeatedly targeted Saudi Arabia with cross-border strikes.

Israel has allegedly been conducting constant aerial raids into Syria in order to hamper Iran and its proxy Hezbollah’s entrenchment efforts in the area, as well as to prevent aid to Palestinian terrorist organizations.

Syrian President Bashar Assad, left, speaks with Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, before their meeting in Tehran, Iran, February 25, 2019. (SANA via AP)

The Bloomberg report said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent rise in oil prices as a result of sanctions against Moscow could be used as leverage by Jerusalem and oil-rich Abu Dhabi, with the latter’s potential to pump spare reserves positioning it as a swing producer that could help tame soaring energy prices.

Two US officials quoted by the news site said Washington is committed to its regional partners’ security but did not say a defensive plan was in the works.

Israeli and Emirati officials did not comment on the report.

Israel and the UAE forged ties in the United States-brokered Abraham Accords in 2020, bringing over a decade of covert contacts into the open. Their relationship has flourished since then.

Both countries are deeply concerned about Iran’s nuclear program and its military activities across the region.

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