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The Middle East warmly welcomes Iran Deal, sees it as Step toward Denuclearizing Israel

(Informed Comment) – The  spokesman for the Jordanian government, Muhammad al-Mumini, said that the agreement was “a step in the right direction.” Jordan’s  King Abdullah II had long warned that a war with Iran would be a catastrophe for the whole Middle East, but a few years ago in the Bush era he was not always on the same page with his American and Saudi allies.

The Gulf Cooperation Council of oil monarchies was not as negative as the US media keeps reporting. The cabinet of the United Arab Emirates  praised the agreement and said it hoped it would lead to regional stability and an end to nuclear proliferation. Likewise, Qatar and Bahrain welcomed the development, and like Lebanon and Egypt said  they hoped it would lead to a nuclear free zone in the Middle East. We know Oman approves because it hosted the preparatory meetings between the US and Iran. Kuwait (a country of 3.2 million with a GDP of $173 bn) seems to dislike the agreement, since it appears to be silent on it. [Kuwait also welcomed Iran’s nuclear deal]

As for Saudi Arabia, which some pundits allege is so upset by the negotiations that it is ready to throw in with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, well, not so much.  The Saudi Minister of Culture, Dr. Abdul Aziz bin Muhyi’d-Din Khoja, said that the preparatory agreement could lead to a resolution of the Iran nuclear problem, assuming that that country acts in good faith. He was also glad that the agreement recognized the right of countries in the region to benefit from nuclear power. [UAE has already ordered four nuclear reactors]. Like Egypt and Lebanon,  Saudi Arabia also saw the understanding as a first step toward also removing Israeli nukes from the Middle East.

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