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US Joins Secret Talks Between Israel and UAE Targeting Iran

Published: August 18, 2019
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Source: antiwar

Secret talks have been ongoing between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, focused on sharing intelligence against Iran and possibly military cooperation. The talks have progressed to the point that the US is now joining the talks too.

Israel and the UAE have some security ties, but don’t have public relations. That they’re discussing Iran reflects Israel’s long-standing hostility toward Iran, and the UAE’s close proximity to Iran.

Iranian Revolutionary Guards drive speedboats at the port of Bandar Abbas. Image source: AFP

While some are presenting the US joining of the talks as proof they are making progress, a lot isn’t understood about what’s going on, and particularly unclear is what the UAE is trying to work out. 

The UAE seems to be trying to balance multiple interests, as they’ve tried to talk to Iran about maritime security in recent days, and seem not to be looking to pick fights with them. That’s in stark contrast to Israel, for whom picking fights with Iran is the centerpiece of decades of foreign policy. 

It’s clear that the UAE has an interest in keeping the US happy, and that probably requires keeping Israel at lease sort of placated in this regard. So while they aren’t trying to start anything against Iran they’re trying to walk the tightrope of balancing both sides to keep everyone satisfied. 

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