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U.S. Gulf Allies Hail President Trump’s Decision to Withdraw from Nuke Deal with Iran

Residents of the Gulf States who are allied with the United States expressed their support for President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, Reuters reported Wednesday.

“Iran used economic gains from the lifting of sanctions to continue its activities to destabilise the region, particularly by developing ballistic missiles and supporting terrorist groups in the region,” a statement from the Saudi foreign ministry read. The statement supported Trump’s intention to reimpose sanctions on Iran and asked other nations to  adopt a “comprehensive view that is not limited to its nuclear programme but also includes all hostile activities.”

Tweets from individual Saudis were celebratory, expressing sentiments including “We prevailed”, “Game over”, and “Action, not words.”

One Saudi tweeted, “No deal could ever be struck with the devil, and Saudi Arabia fully supports President Trump’s decision … Together we prevail.”

Expressing sentiments similar to those of the Saudi foreign ministry, Anwar Gargash, the United Arab Emirates Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, tweeted,  “Iran interpreted the JCPOA as concurrence of its regional hegemony. An aggressive Iran was emboldened as a result & its ballistic missile program became both offensive & exportable.”

At the time the deal was agreed to, Gargash warned in an op-ed published in the Financial Times, that it would “subsidise instability across the region by escalating its funding for the Houthi rebels in Yemen, President Bashar al-Assad in Syria, Hizbollah in Lebanon and sectarian militias in Iraq.”

Last year, Gargash criticized Qatari-owned broadcaster Al Jazeera for promoting “anti-Semitic violence by broadcasting sermons by the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Yusuf al-Qaradawi.”

“We’ve always said our concern about this agreement in 2015 was that Iran should not take it as carte blanche to go and expand its territorial influence,” Abdulaziz al-Sager, head of the Gulf Research Centre, which is based in Jedda, Saudi Arabia, said. “It’s good that he mentioned Syria, that he mentioned Yemen, that he mentioned Lebanon – all of the concerns that we have.”

Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, Fellow for the Middle East at Rice University’s Baker Institute assessed that there likely would be “jubilation” in both Saudi Arabia and the UAE because “the Trump administration – or at least the White House – has now come round to their thinking on Iran’s threat to regional security.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “Israel fully supports President Trump’s bold decision today to reject the disastrous nuclear deal with the terrorist regime in Tehran. Israel has opposed the nuclear deal from the start because we said that rather than blocking Iran’s path to a bomb, the deal actually paved Iran’s path to an entire arsenal of nuclear bombs, and this within a few years’ time. The removal of sanctions under the deal has already produced disastrous results. The deal didn’t push war further away, it actually brought it closer.” Netanyahu added, “The deal didn’t reduce Iran’s aggression, it dramatically increased it, and we see this across the entire Middle East. Since the deal, we’ve seen Iran’s aggression grow every day- in Iraq, in Lebanon, in Yemen, in Gaza, and most of all, in Syria, where Iran is trying to establish military bases from which to attack Israel,” echoing the sentiments expressed by leaders of the Gulf States.

[Photo: 60 Minutes / YouTube ]