Arab states fear Iran will become America's 'policeman' in Gulf

Some in the Arab world see US actions as responsible for bloody Sunni-Shi'ite battles taking place in recent years.

By YASSER OKBI/ MAARIV HASHAVUA
April 6, 2015 12:31
1 minute read.
Iranian military personnel participate in war games in an unknown location near the Strait of Hormuz

Iranian military personnel participate in war games in an unknown location near the Strait of Hormuz in southern Iran. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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Some in the Arab world see US actions as responsible for bloody Sunni-Shi’ite battles taking place in recent years.

Several Arab states fear that the nuclear framework deal agreed to last week between the West and Iran, will lead to Tehran becoming Washington’s “personal policeman” in the Persian Gulf region.

Some Arab countries are concerned that Iran will interfere in neighboring Gulf states to spark sectarian wars and see the United States’s actions as responsible for the bloody war transpiring between Sunnis and Shi’ites in recent years in Iraq, Syria and now Yemen.

US Secretary of State John Kerry vowed to the Gulf states that any deal with Iran would prevent the Islamic Republic from obtaining nuclear weapons, and the Arab leaders even praised this statement.

Kerry stressed the Obama administration’s obligation to maintaining the security of the Gulf states, and the issue will be further clarified at a summit between Gulf leaders and US President Barack Obama scheduled to take place later this month at Camp David.


Obama called the leaders of Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates on Friday to update them on the details of the framework deal with Iran.

Iran has also asked that Oman help in its efforts to stop air strikes by the Saudi-led Arab coalition in Yemen. Oman is the only Arab Gulf state that is not participating in the operation, due to its good ties with Tehran.

In addition to fighting the Yemeni government, Iranian- backed Shi’ite Houthi militias have also fought with al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, the Yemenite branch of the Sunni terrorist organization.

In Yemen, some accuse the US of having an interest in continued fighting between Houthi militias and al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, a group that US counterterrorism efforts have focused on for years.

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