UAE appears to get cold feet as it backs away from US boycott of Iran

“The United Arab Emirates has sent a coast guard delegation to Tehran to discuss maritime security, putting it at odds with Washington’s goal of isolating Iran,” says the Washington Post.

By World Israel News Staff 

Israel’s Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz has been speaking of a meeting he held with a senior official from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) earlier in the summer as key in improving ties with Arab states and as part of the Israeli inclusion in a coalition against Iran.

However, how much of a partner is the UAE in the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic Republic?

“One of America’s staunchest allies in the Middle East and a driving force behind President Trump’s hard-line approach to Iran is breaking ranks with Washington,” according to The Washington Post, referring to the UAE.

“In the weeks since the United States dispatched naval reinforcements to the Persian Gulf to deter Iranian threats to shipping, the government of the United Arab Emirates has sent a coast guard delegation to Tehran to discuss maritime security, putting it at odds with Washington’s goal of isolating Iran,” the newspaper reported on Sunday.

“After limpet mines exploded on tankers off the UAE’s coast in June, the UAE stood apart from the United States and Saudi Arabia and declined to blame Iran,” The Washington Post adds.

In addition, it “announced a drawdown of troops from Yemen, where, alongside Saudi Arabia, it has been battling Iranian-backed Houthis for control of the country. That opened the door this past weekend to a takeover by UAE-backed separatist militias of the U.S.-supported government in the city of Aden, a further divergence from U.S. policy,” the newspaper reported.

These moves by Abu Dhabi are a far cry from the comments made by Emirati Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan in September 2017, when he charged that Iran’s “hostile and expansionist policy” is the major obstacle to solving all crises in the Arab world.

He accused Iran of supporting “terrorist groups and cells” in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Kuwait.

Al Nahyan said that “Iran has not only committed blatant violations of the principles of sovereignty but also continues to exploit the crises in the Arab world to undermine regional security by inciting and fueling conflict.”

However, the UAE is “increasingly tilting away from U.S. objectives,” Theodore Karasik of the Washington-based Gulf State Analytics told The Washington Post. “Is it the weak link in the Trump policy of maximum pressure? It may be,” he added.

But this mode of behavior is not new, the newspaper reports. “The UAE sponsored the 2013 coup in Egypt that overthrew [the] country’s first democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi, whose Muslim Brotherhood government was supported by the United States,” during President Barack Obama’s second term, The Washington Post writes.

And the list goes on, says the report.

The newspaper says that the emirate is simply looking out for its business interests in backing off from any support of a potential conflict in its volatile area.

“The UAE’s location, economy, and reputation as a safe haven for foreigners make it uniquely susceptible to the fallout from even a low-level confrontation, perhaps more than any other country in the region, analysts say,” according to The Washington Post.

“The Strait of Hormuz, where war is most likely to break out, envelops the Emirati coastline and the UAE depends on the waterway for the trade on which its economy has soared,” the paper explains.