The recent announcement of normalization of relations between the UAE and Israel is now being followed with discussions between Oman and Israel. These changes suggest a new coalition between all of the Middle-Eastern states that see a threat in Iran. When one considers the oft repeated relationship between Israel and Saudi Arabia the future coalition will only grow. (Many reports that the Saudis offered Israel refueling and recovery airfields for any attack on Iran.)
What is driving this significant change in strategic relations? There are several factors:
- The US is no longer dependent on oil from the region
- US reduction of deployed forces in the region
- The Iranian nuclear growth towards nuclear weapons continues after a temporary setback because of numerous explosions throughout its nuclear weapon and delivery development system.
- The Israeli agreement to suspend plans for annexing parts of the West Bank—this was important as it was meant to appease the Arab support for a Palestinian state. (Political cover)
What should we look forward to as this situation develops?
- Iranian severe reactions to include terrorist attacks by Hezbollah and other Iranian funded organizations against Israel and probably UAE forces in Yemen.
- Increased pressure by Iran against Iraq—the meeting between the President and the Iraqi Prime Minister tomorrow should provide some indicator as to the direction Iraq will follow
- Some additional form of military coordination between the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Israel to secure the Straits of Hormuz and the flow of oil to Europe and Asia.
- More GCC states joining the loose coalition that the Oman, UAE and Israel cooperation will create.
- Increased pressure on Qatar to sever its support of more radical Arab causes.
- Continued US naval and air presence in the area.
This historic breakthrough by acceptance of Israel as a recognized player in Middle-Eastern strategic affairs can only have stabilizing influences on the entire region over the long term. These may be preceded by the Iranian caused unrest noted above.
We will watch the future events for tells on what is to come next.