New alliance in the Gulf .. US plan to tighten the screws on Iran? | Politics and Economy -

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Washington wants to lead a naval military alliance in the areas of contact between it and Iran and its "arm" in Yemen, namely the Huthis, which makes its objectives controversial, especially with the escalation of developments on the subject of the nuclear file, at a time when different views among the countries of the region against the background Their positions on Tehran, between those who want to block them, and those who have relations with them make them hesitant or even reject any initiative against them.

The alliance was announced by the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Danford, but the latter did not give much details except that the coalition would focus on surveillance and reconnaissance, and that the next two weeks would see the determination of countries wishing to participate in this alliance.

If the alliance wrote birth, it would watch a very vital area in maritime navigation. The Strait of Hormuz links the Gulf to the Indian Ocean, passing through 40 percent of the world's oil, and Saudi Arabia exports most of its oil. This video gives an overview of the importance of this crossing:

Bab al-Mandab, located at the maritime distance between Yemen and Djibouti, is of great importance. It separates the continents of Africa and Asia and links the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. For more than a century, it has become a major trade route between Arab, Mediterranean and Indian Ocean states. The following photo gallery provides an overview of this strait:

Who will join?

However, there are countries that will find themselves in a difficult position between joining this alliance and fulfilling their relations with Tehran, whether relations spanning years ago such as Iraq and Oman, or situational relations resulting from developments in the political scene recently such as Qatar, which turned to Iran in its attempt to diversify its economic partnerships after " Following the Gulf crisis.

Sibastan Sons, a political analyst at the German Council on Foreign Relations, told – that Saudi Arabia would participate in the alliance, not only with logistical support but also with its own vessels or even with its own battles. The position of Abu Dhabi, which had a somewhat conciliatory relationship with Tehran because of the economic interests it brings together.

On the other hand, Qatar sees the issue differently, the analyst adds. On the other hand, it is trying to maintain the same balance between the two big powers in the region, namely, Iran and Saudi Arabia, meaning that Doha will express its reservations about the American move. But did not fully oppose it. Kuwait and Oman, the analyst continues, are very cautious because they do not have a strong army and because of their modest economic capabilities compared to other countries.

However, Iraq, which has strong ties with Iran, sees any move to close the Strait of Hormuz by Iran as a "major obstacle" to its economy, and thus Baghdad will find itself in a difficult situation vis-à-vis any alliance seeking to besiege Iran, as Iraq still needs US support, The US forces are still in this country, but he also does not want to upset Tehran, which emerged when Iraqi President Barham Salih gave a big speech to Donald Trump when he said he wanted to control Iran from Iraqi territory.

Europe has kept Germany open to its participation in the future alliance. "Discussions are in place, of course Germany will also participate," Chancellor Angela Merkel said. "But now I can not say anything about it, because it is not yet." The New York Times quoted a US military official as saying that it would be clear within two weeks for countries wishing to join the alliance.

The reality of his goals and challenges in membership?

Apart from the political goals, the countries defending the alliance carry security agendas to protect their economic interests. According to the German news agency (dpa), international oil companies avoid sending their carriers to the shipping ports in the Middle East, after two attacks in one month, Nakilat in the Emirate of Fujairah and the second targeted tankers in the Gulf of Oman. Washington has accused Tehran of being behind the attacks, which the latter denied, previously Houthis have targeted more than once oil tankers in Yemeni ports, resulting in serious economic consequences.

"There is an expectation that the situation will deteriorate further before it starts to improve," an official at one of Dubai's oil companies told the agency. "The port of Fujairah is experiencing a significant drop in demand due to higher insurance costs for oil tankers against war risk." The agency also reported the suspension of a company temporarily for its activities in the Gulf. Bloomberg quoted various traders and brokers as saying that sales of oil had declined by between 15 and 30 percent recently.

Iran is aware that such an alliance wants to trim its nails more and more, especially with its continuing threats to close the Strait of Hormuz if the United States continues to blockade it economically. Tehran has shown toughness in dealing with Washington when it dropped a US spy plane, especially that its geographical location with the vast border surrounding the Strait, and its military capabilities allow it to carry out the feast on the ground.

"Trump's strategy is part of an economic and economic framework, with Gulf and world money shifting to serve the US economy," says political analyst Mohammed al-Sharqawi, an Arab -. Trump wants a US-led initiative to protect the Gulf, but with Gulf funding, Iran and the scarecrow of threatened maritime attacks.

Al-Sharqawi said that the Gulf would not benefit much from this initiative, because Iran does not want to engage in confrontation, as evidenced by the fact that it refrained from directing a missile to a US aircraft carrying military personnel, which was accompanied by the drone plane, which was dropped by the Iranian defenses.

Ismail Azzam

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