Dr. Anthony Cordesman, a prominent political analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., has emphasized that the UAE is blessed with a wise leadership, which has made the country a model of success for all the nations in the region. The foresight of the UAE’s leadership has transformed the country into a distinguished center of excellence in international politics, due to the advantages its leadership enjoys in terms of the recognition and respect it has earned all over the world.
In an interview with the ECSSR, Dr. Cordesman said that the UAE leadership has earned admiration and support from various nations of the world. President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan (may God protect him); Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai; and His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, have accomplished a great mission in raising the stature of the UAE on the international map. Their achievements in various fields have earned them respect in all nations. The assistance provided by the UAE to various countries, in order to protect their stability and security in the Middle East and beyond, are highly appreciated.
Dr. Cordesman added that efforts by the UAE government have been politically beneficial over the issue of the three occupied islands along with the stance of the international community over this issue. He suggested that the best approach for resolving this issue is through negotiations and diplomatic efforts. He noted that the UAE enjoys huge international support, thanks to its policy, which is built on moderation and non-interference in the affairs of other countries.
In the context of analyzing the agreement between Tehran and the P5+1 over Iran’s nuclear program, Dr. Cordesman said that the best way to solve problems is through dialog, because any military action will never lead to positive results on this issue. Therefore, it is useful to try this approach with Iran, in order to disclose its nuclear program to the whole world. He said we have several options before us in dealing with Iran:
Containment: This entails negotiation with Tehran to defuse the crisis between Iran and the international community, with the purpose of disarming the country of any nuclear weapons or of its capability to manufacture such weapons.
Additional international sanctions: Imposition of additional or more stringent sanctions on Iran to increase pressure, with the aim of enforcing Tehran to accept the will of the international community so that the Middle East is free of nuclear weapons.
Supporting US allies with more weapons of deterrence: To increase the military capabilities of those countries, particularly GCC countries, which share borders with Iran or have a coast on the Arabian Gulf.
Combination of Sanctions and Negotiations: Diplomatic options are the best solution. Nevertheless, military options cannot be excluded.
Dr. Cordesman also observed that the military rivalry between the United States and Iran involves a large number of other players. While Iran has an unofficial alliance with Syria and Hezbollah in Lebanon, it also hopes to compete for military influence in Iraq, southern Gulf States and most of the Arab world. Dr. Cordesman indicated that there is not a single country in the Middle East which can be considered entirely safe. Obviously, instability in the Middle East will affect neighboring countries in Asia and Africa, besides affecting those countries that import oil and gas from the Arab Gulf region.
He added that the GCC should deal with the nuclear agreement with Iran individually and not as a bloc. Each of the Gulf countries should negotiate with Iran separately, and the US should also deal with each Arab country in the Gulf separately. The US cannot achieve the objectives of the agreement only through words; rather Washington should use diplomatic efforts and impose further economic sanctions on Iran and any other effective means, in case of a failure to reach an agreement. The US should also help its allies in the region.
Dr. Cordesman observed that US decision makers and planners view Iran’s development of nuclear and missile capabilities will pose a danger to the entire Gulf region, as well as many other countries in the Middle East. It could also endanger Gulf oil exports and global oil markets. Moreover, these capabilities could pose a real threat to the Arab-Israeli peace process.