In an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal on March 2, UAE Ambassador to the U.S.Yousef Al Otaiba highlights the importance of checking Iran’s regional aggression and revitalizing security cooperation between the United States and the Arab Gulf states. Citing Iran’s ballistic missile tests and the repeated interdictions of illicit Iranian arms shipments to the Houthis in Yemen, Ambassador Al Otaiba notes that Iran is passing up the opportunity for responsible engagement in world affairs, and suggests Arab Gulf states and the United States work more closely to defend their shared interests to make the region more secure.
The Gulf States Are Ready for Peaceful Coexistence—if Iran Is
Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba
When the Iranian nuclear deal took effect more than a year ago, there were high hopes that it would set Tehran on a new course of responsible engagement in world affairs. Instead, the country has chosen increased conflict and aggression. The Trump administration’s early move to impose new sanctions on Iran was a measured reaction—long overdue and welcomed by all of America’s friends in the region.
Iran’s hostile behavior is only growing worse. There have been multiple interceptions of illicit Iranian weapons destined for Houthi rebels in Yemen. On New Year’s Day, Iranian-backed militants in Bahrain organized a prison break of convicted terrorists. Later in January, Tehran tested a nuclear-capable ballistic missile, at least its 12th violation of a U.N. Security Council resolution barring such tests. Meanwhile, Iran has steadily escalated its support for the Houthis, prolonging a war that has had horrible humanitarian consequences and distracted from the fight against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, one of the world’s most dangerous terrorist franchises.