Arab NATO Against Iran Seen as Nonstarter

(New York Times) Edward Wong and Ben Hubbard - In a tour that took him to eight countries in one week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sought to get Arab countries to work together to roll back Iranian influence in the region and take on the militias Iran is backing. But the obstacles toward building such a coalition are formidable. "If you want to create a military alliance, an Arab NATO, I think it's a nonstarter," said Marwan Muasher, vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a former foreign minister of Jordan. "The ingredients are not there....Iran is not seen in a good light among many of the countries of the region, but that is different from participating in a military alliance against it." Saudi Arabia and the UAE are leading the anti-Iran charge, but Egypt and Jordan do not feel directly threatened by Iran and would be hesitant to risk confronting it. Gulf states like Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman maintain diplomatic and trade ties with Iran and would be unlikely to join in hostilities against it. Iraq is dominated by Shiite Arabs and shares deep cultural, religious and political ties with Iran.

2019-01-15 00:00:00

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