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Thursday, August 18, 2022

A ‘NATO Middle East’? Why Iran is closely watching Biden’s regional trip

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Last month, US lawmakers enacted legislation to create an integrated air defense system aimed at increasing cooperation between Israel and its Arab neighbors, including countries with which Biden will meet. removed in Saudi Arabia this week. The defense system is meant to protect those countries from Iran.

King Abdullah of Jordan, whom Biden will meet in Saudi Arabia, said this month he was in favor of participating “NATO Middle East” with like-minded countries, without specifying which country.
Iran considers an Arab-Israeli military plan a provocative move and a threat against its national security, Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani was quoted by state news agency IRNA as saying on Saturday. He accused the US of spreading “fear of Iran” among countries in the region, according to IRNA.

The United Arab Emirates, which has engaged in direct talks with Tehran, said on Friday that it was not interested in joining an anti-Iran coalition.

“We are open to cooperation, but not cooperation aimed at any other country in the region, and I am specifically referring to Iran,” Anwar Gargash, an adviser to the UAE’s president, told CNN’s Becky Anderson. . The UAE is in the process of sending an ambassador to Tehran, he added.

Some analysts say that if Iran finds out it has been attacked by its neighbors, it may retaliate.

Trita Parsi, vice president of the Quincy Institute in Washington, DC, said an Arab-Israeli military alliance is “a terrible idea,” because it reinforces existing divisions in the region and reduces the likelihood of an Arab-Israeli military alliance. the possibility of a diplomatic breakthrough. Parsi told CNN that such groups aim to organize the region against a certain state rather than achieve “real peace.”

Previous US efforts to isolate Iran at Israel’s behest had led Tehran to sabotage the Palestinian-Israeli peace process to undermine Washington’s efforts, he said. “If Biden’s anti-Iran coalition really succeeds, it could push Iran back to the policies of the 1990s when it actively pushed its allies to destabilize the regions,” he added. area in the region”.

On Thursday, Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid signed a new joint statement that includes a pledge to never allow Iran has nuclear weapons and to address Iran’s “destabilizing activities”.

“Ability [Biden’s] The visit could create further tensions,” Mohammad Marandi, a professor at the University of Tehran, told CNN.

That prospect has not escaped the Gulf Arab states, who are wary of getting entangled in the flames between Iran and the US.

Gargash told CNN that there is a need to de-escalate with Iran. “We have to find a solution, and we also have to use economic cooperation in many different areas,” he said.

Abdulkhaleq Abdulla, a political science professor in the UAE, told CNN that framing a potential military alliance like NATO in the region is “very provocative and I don’t think anyone is required to join in.” are all acceptable.”

While there is consensus in the region that Iran is now more destabilizing than ever, Israel and the Gulf Arab states differ on how to approach the issue, he told CNN.

“The mood in Abu Dhabi and in Riyadh is to talk to Iran rather than provoking Iran,” he said. This is where the Gulf, especially Saudi Arabia and the UAE, differs from Israel. ”
Biden walks politically and diplomatically closely in Saudi Arabia
The US statement this week that Iran can supply drones to Russia could be used by the Biden administration to bolster its profile for a Middle East defense treaty against Iran, Aniseh BassiriSenior Research Fellow at the United Kingdom’s Royal Service Institute (RUSI) based in London.
“The timing of this information [on Iranian drone sales] is interesting,” she told CNN’s Becky Anderson on Tuesday. We know that the US, along with Israel, is trying to shape this defense treaty and I think a lot of the focus of this treaty is on the capabilities that countries have when it comes to drones. Whether there is interest in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries is another question,” she said.

“There is a lot of Israeli propaganda to market and promote such an agreement,” Mr. “Logically, it’s not very easy to do.”


Majority of young Saudis consider Palestinian goals a priority, survey shows

Three-quarters of young Saudi Arabian youth believe that resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict should be a priority for the Arab world, according to the 13th edition of the Arab Youth Survey. The survey also found that more than 90% of young Saudis, who make up nearly two-thirds of the population, consider the United States an ally.

  • Story: The findings were published on Thursday ahead of Biden’s trip to Saudi Arabia. The survey comes amid strained US-Saudi relations and the Biden administration’s efforts to strengthen ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia.
  • Why is it important?: The survey shows the importance of Saudi youth to the Palestinian issue as Riyadh moves closer to Israel. It also shows that despite tensions between the Biden administration and Saudi Arabia, young Saudis continue to see the US as an ally.

Netanyahu says Biden agrees a military strike would be necessary if Iran develops a nuclear weapon

On Thursday, former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hinted that President Biden agreed that a military strike on Iran would be necessary if Tehran developed a nuclear weapon. “I told him that without a credible military option, Iran will not be deterred, and if Iran is not deterred, this military option will need to be exercised. This is important. my point. I really hope that’s also the view of the US,” he said. Netanyahu. “He [Biden] said he agrees with these words and I’m happy to hear that,” he added.

  • Story: Netanyahu’s statement comes as he tries to return as prime minister amid a political deadlock in Israel. During his trip to Jerusalem, Biden re-committed to defending Israel against Iran. In an interview with Israel’s Channel 12 News on Wednesday, the President was asked if his commitment to ensuring Iran never had a nuclear weapon meant he would use force against Iran. “If it’s a last resort, then yes,” Biden replied.
  • Why is it important: Israel has touted a “regional air defense alliance” led by the US and primarily aimed at intercepting Iranian drones and missiles. Biden has defended his trip to the Middle East, saying allies in the region are needed as Iran makes progress on its nuclear program.

White House confirms Biden will meet MBS without King of Saudi Arabia

The White House on Friday confirmed for the first time that Biden will meet Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman – known as MBS – without his father King Salman while the US President is in Jeddah.

  • Story: According to Biden’s schedule, the king of Saudi Arabia will only be available for about 30 minutes of bilateral meetings on Friday night. This is the first time the White House has admitted it publicly. Biden and the crown prince will continue to meet after the king departs.
  • Why is it important: The meeting will be the start of Biden’s previous attempt to deny MBS. The White House said early in Biden’s term that the President’s interactions with the Saudi leadership would be a “counterbalance”.

What to see

Lina Au Akleh, the niece of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, told CNN’s Becky Anderson how her family feels about Biden’s regional tour as it continues to grieve.

“This is where Shireen was born … and she was killed here,” Abu Akleh said. “So it was very important for us to be able to sit with the President to hear our requests.”

Watch the interview here:

Around the area

Some Iranian women are defying their country’s state-enforced veil, saying they want to let their hair down and dress freely.

Social media platforms this week saw a flur of posts showing Iranian women at home and abroad taking off their headscarves in public despite the Islamic Republic’s strict laws on religion virtue.

Starting from a campaign by activists against Iran’s “National Day of the Hijab and Virginity”, observed by the Persian Gulf nation on 12 July every year to promote the veil , the call to remove the hijab went viral on social media.

More than 120 human rights activists signed a statement protesting Virginity Day, saying the celebration was an excuse to “mark the oppression of Iranian women”, the report of IranWire news site.

Women in Iran are forced to cover their hair with a veil, as well as wear loose clothing to hide their bodies.

Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency on Wednesday published photographs of women gathered in the streets of Tehran, celebrate virginity day fully comply with the rules.

By Nadeen Ebrahim

photo of the day

The crescent moon rises behind an illuminated children's amusement park in the rebel-held city of Idlib, northwestern Syria, on July 14.

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I am passionate about journalism and using new technology to spread news. I am also interested in politics and economics, and I am always looking for ways to make a difference in the world. I am the CEO of Janaseva News, and I am 24 years old.

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