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Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain Welcome Trump’s ‘Firm’ Iran Strategy | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps troops march during the annual military parade marking the start of Iran’s 1980-88 war with Iraq in Tehran in September 2015. (Reuters)

Riyadh – Saudi Arabia welcomed on Friday US President Donald Trump’s new strategy against Iran and its hostile policy, hailing his vision in this regard and commitment to work with US allies in the region to counter common challenges.

The Kingdom said in a statement: “Riyadh had previously supported the nuclear agreement between Iran and the 5 + 1 powers, in the belief that it is necessary to limit the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in our region and the world.”

It had hoped that the agreement would prevent Iran from obtaining such arms in any way, continued the statement released by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

“Instead, Iran exploited the economic benefits of lifting the sanctions and used them to continue to destabilize the region, especially through its ballistic missile development program and support of terrorism in the region, including the Houthi militias in Yemen and ‘Hezbollah’.”

“Iran has not only done so in flagrant violation of the resolution, but also it transferred such potentials and experience to its militias, including the Houthis, who used the missiles to target the Kingdom. This therefore exposed the falsity of Iranian claims that the development of these capabilities is only for defensive reasons,” the statement added.

In continuation of its aggressive approach, Iran had, through its Revolutionary Guards and Houthi militia, repeatedly targeted international navigation passageways in the Red Sea and the Arabian Gulf. The statement also accused it of carrying out cyber attacks against Saudi Arabia and regional countries.

The Kingdom therefore voiced its ongoing commitment to work with partners in the United States and international community to achieve the objectives declared by Trump.

It underlined the need to address threats posed by Tehran’s policies to international peace and security from a wider perspective beyond its nuclear program to include all of its aggressive activities, in order to cut off all avenues for it to acquire weapons of mass destruction.

Similarly, the United Arab Emirates also voiced its complete support for Trump’s new strategy to deal with Iran’s destabilizing policies.

The Foreign Ministry said in a statement: “For too long, the Iranian regime has spread destruction and chaos throughout the region and beyond. The nuclear deal offered Iran an opportunity to engage responsibly with the international community. Instead, it only emboldened Iran to intensify its provocative and destabilizing behavior.”

“The new US strategy takes necessary steps to confront Iran’s malign behavior in all its forms – including its growing ballistic missile program, support for terrorist organizations like ‘Hezbollah’ and the Houthis, cyber attacks, interference in its neighbors’ domestic affairs and threats to the freedom of navigation,” continued the statement released by the Emirates News Agency (WAM).

The US Treasury Department’s designation of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps is a strong measure that will help limit Tehran’s dangerous activities as the world’s leading state-sponsor of terrorism, stressed the statement.

“The UAE welcomes and endorses the new US strategy. We reaffirm our commitment to working with the US and our allies to counter the full range of Iran’s destabilizing activities and its support for extremists,” emphasized the Foreign Ministry.

Bahrain also welcomed the new US strategy, stressing that Iran is the leading world sponsor of terrorism.

Manama welcomed the steps announced by Trump on how to deal with the Iranian nuclear agreement, including imposing sanctions on the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.

It stressed that this stance is a confirmation and a reminder to the global community of the importance of combating terrorism and all those who support it to make the region and the world more peaceful and stable.

“The Kingdom lauds Trump’s policy and keenness to prevent chaos and to counter Iran’s attempts to promote terrorism,” said the Foreign Ministry in a statement.

It affirmed that Bahrain “is one of the countries most affected by the expansionist policy of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, which aims to undermine the security of our societies by promoting and supporting extremist ideas and destructive acts of terrorism.”

Bahrain expressed its support for all efforts aimed at preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and all efforts aimed at combating its funding and arming of extremist militias in the region. It stressed the need for Iran to respect the sovereignty of its neighboring countries and commit to international laws.