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'Bad at Any Level': Anti-Iran Bloc May Boost Most Repressive Regimes in Mideast

© AFP 2023 / KHALED AL-SAYYED Saudi armoured vehicles
Saudi armoured vehicles - Sputnik International
Any effort by the United States to encourage an alliance of Arab countries against Iran would only strengthen the most repressive regimes in the Middle East, US analysts told Sputnik.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — On Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the administration of President Donald Trump is reportedly working to create a military alliance of Sunni Arab nations that cooperate with the United States and Israel on sharing intelligence to oppose the growing regional influence of Iran.

"A US-Arab alliance against Iran is very bad on any number of levels," Middle East analyst and political commentator Dan Lazare said on Friday. "As reactionary as the Iranian regime is, it's a far cry better than the oil monarchies that are America's closest allies in the region."

Saudi soldiers are seen on top of their tank deployed at the Saudi-Yemeni border, in Saudi Arabia's southwestern Jizan province, on April 13, 2015. - Sputnik International
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A possible NATO-like mutual defense pact would include Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the report said, citing officials from several Middle Eastern nations as its sources.

However, "Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE and other members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are some of the most autocratic states on earth — anti-women, anti-democratic, anti-everything in fact except Wahhabism," Lazare pointed out.

Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states have for years financed groups like al-Qaeda and the Islamic State terror group (both outlawed in Russia) as part of a terror offensive against what Riyadh calls "the Shiite crescent," a ring of hostile states whose raison d'etre, supposedly, is to destroy the Saudi kingdom, Lazare said.

"Not only is Washington unjust and immoral in backing such a crusade, but it is also self-defeating since it is backing what is plainly the losing side. Saudi Arabia is today the sick man of the Middle East. Its economy is failing, its political system is profoundly dysfunctional," he explained.

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Although the United States routinely accuses Tehran of sponsoring terrorism, the charge stands reality on its head, Lazare argued.

Iran "is actually a leading force in the fight against al-Qaeda and the Islamic State in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon," he noted.

The United States should have nothing to do with the sectarianism that is now tearing apart the Muslim world, Lazare advised.

"The Sunni-Shiite conflict is essentially the continuation of a war of succession over who had the right to take over from Muhammad… Trump has no idea what he's doing in plunging ever deeper into the religious morass. Instead, he should get the Hell out," he suggested.

Far from deterring any wider war in the Middle East, pulling the United States and Israel into support of repressive regimes made that danger far more likely, Independent Institute Center on Peace and Liberty Director Ivan Eland told Sputnik.

"Even if the United States and Israel don't become formal members by signing a mutual defense treaty with the Arab nations, the two nations, by providing intelligence support, still could be dragged into a regional war between these countries and Iran," Eland stated.

Repeating its experience with NATO, the United States could end up subsidizing the Gulf States security, Eland warned.

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