By Farzad Farhadi

American or Arab NATO?

July 31, 2018

TEHRAN - The Trump administration is quietly pushing ahead with a bid to create a new security and political alliance with six Persian Gulf Arab states, Egypt and Jordan, in part to counter Iran’s expansion in the region, according to U.S. and Arab officials.

The White House wants to see deeper cooperation between the countries on missile defense, military training, counter-terrorism and other issues such as strengthening regional economic and diplomatic ties.

The plan to forge what officials in the White House and Middle East have called an “Arab NATO”. The administration’s hope is that the effort, tentatively known as the Middle East Strategic Alliance (MESA), might be discussed at a summit provisionally scheduled for Washington on Oct. 12-13. Saudi officials raised the idea of a security pact ahead of a Trump visit last year to Saudi Arabia where he announced a massive arms deal, but the alliance proposal did not get off the ground, a U.S. source said.
“MESA will serve as a bulwark against Iranian aggression, terrorism, extremism, and will bring stability to the Middle East,” a spokesperson for the White House’s National Security Council said.

Similar initiatives by previous U.S. administrations to develop a more formal alliance with Persian Gulf and Arab allies have failed in the past. It is unclear how the alliance could immediately counter Tehran but the Trump administration and its allies have joint interests in the conflicts in Yemen and Syria as well as defending Persian Gulf shipping lanes through which much of the world’s oil supplies are shipped.

Arab NATO and its impact

Saudi Arabia and the UAE are the key player in the formation of the so-called “Arab NATO”. Potentially a big obstacle to the planned alliance is a 13-month-old rift pitting Saudi Arabia and the UAE against Qatar, home to the largest U.S. airbase in the region. The U.S. administration is concerned the quarrel could be an obstacle to the initiative, he and an Arab official both said Riyadh and Abu Dhabi had assured Washington the rift would not pose a problem to the alliance.
 The sultanate of Oman is also an obstacle in this direction. This country has good relations with Tehran, a relationship that does not match the coalition with the United States and against Iran. Although the Sultanate has a good relationship with the United States, it is unclear what will the courageous Oman still have to deal with this coalition?

The role of Tel Aviv in Arab NATO

In fact, the Trump administration began to complete what had been launched a year ago in Riyadh and announced the establishment of the Middle East Strategic Alliance.
Undoubtedly, the Zionist regime alongside the United States and what moderate Arabs will play an effective role in the coalition. In the other words, this alliance called the Arab NATO to favor the Zionist regime.
 
Why did not the treaty establish a joint Arab defense against the Zionist regime?

All these years, why did not you hear about a joint Arab defense treaty against Tel Aviv?
The Israeli’s attack on al-Aqsa mosque is increasing in large numbers and Jewish settlements have expanded. Why does not this provoke any reaction? The new generation of Arabs is faced with a lot of dangerous dilemma illustrated in fake phrases such as counteracting terrorism and preventing the spread of Iranian influence. But it cannot conceal the fact that occupation, settlement, blockade and racism constitute a major threat to Palestine, the interests of Jordan and Arab security.

America, the West and Zionists exploit sectarian and tribal issues to spark conflict in the region. The U.S. uses the Arab NATO in the first place to serve the Zionist regime and then pursue its interests and with its Western allies.

The U.S. seeks to keep the Arab states under the auspices of Washington, and in turn, they always need the U.S. and its military support.

By creating an unrealistic enemy of Iran, the United States is seeking to boost its military and arms industries.

What caused the Arab NATO to be addressed is Yemen and Syria's crises. When in the Yemeni war, the Saudi coalition could not get any achievement, and when in Syria, the United States saw itself against strong rivals, the whispers of the creation of the Arab NATO got stronger.

The U.S.'s goal of the Arab NATO formation is in the first step in stabilizing the U.S. presence in the region and the protection of U.S. economic and investment interests and the creation of job opportunities within the United States through the sale of weapons to the region. The United States seeks to maintain balance and domination of the region's economy.

Abdel Bari Atwan, the famous analyst of the Arab world, wrote: “At the same time of Trump's war of words with Rouhani, Trump is looking to form a new security-military coalition with the Persian Gulf countries alongside Egypt and Jordan.”

He added: “The Saudi propaganda against Yemeni Ansarallah about the attack on oil tankers is likely to help establish a new pact with U.S. oversight. But there are a lot of questions here, including will Egypt and Jordan join the new coalition and participate in the upcoming Washington Summit in October? What is the Israeli relationship with this new treaty, and whether it is a member, and how is the nature of this membership, secret or public? What is the problem with the Doha crisis with the four Arab countries that are blocking this coalition?

Will Qatar cut ties with Iran upon the demands of the U.S.-Saudi-Emirati? Is it worth $ 1.5 billion to develop the U.S. military base in Qatar, Al Udeid, targeting it as one of the main centers of the new Arab-American treaty and outlining its main role in any future anti-Iran war?”

Atwan highlighted: “It may be too early to give an answer to all these questions given the unclear details of the American plan. But it is unlikely to know that America's anti-Iran threats are intended to terrorize Arab nations, and in particular the Persian Gulf, to justify signing the new treaty and to fully honor membership fees.”

He continued: “This new tribal treaty is a new tool for taking over hundreds of billions of dollars from the Persian Gulf States on the pretext of strengthening the defense capability but in reality to prepare for the war against Iran. These countries can not oppose Trump’s request and may be left out of the future summit of Washington, or face heavy debts owing to the large military spending that the United States seeks to pay.”

In any case, it is undeniable that Arab NATO is more than the Arab desire.

The United States confronts Arabs by Arabs, and through the imaginary subjects. The U.S. will challenge states that do not move on the path of the Zionist regime and the United States. Washington aims to sell weapons and maintain tension between Saudi Arabia and its allies with Iran. And by scaring Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf states from dangerous illusion about Iran, U.S. has already signed wealthy weapons deals.

The goal of Arab NATO formation is to serve Israel, marginalize Palestine, sell more weapons, make more money, and show more hostility towards the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Experts and observers believe that good prospect for Arab NATO could not be imagined. The goal of the Arab Nation is to destabilize the Middle East and to spur the regional issues by Americans.

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