Glad to see Obama go, Gulf Arabs expect Trump to counter Iran


Gulf Arab states are quietly applauding the arrival in the White House of a hawkish leader opposed to their adversary Iran, even if they suspect Donald Trump’s short temper and abrasive Tweets may at times heighten tensions in the combustible Middle East.

While many countries around the world listened with concern to his protectionist inaugural address, Gulf Arab officials appear optimistic. They see in Trump a strong president who will shore up Washington’s role as their main strategic partner in a region central to U.S. security and energy interests.

In Gulf Arab eyes, that involves above all checking what they see as a surge of Iranian support for paramilitary allies in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Lebanon and for fellow Shi’ite Muslims in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia’s oil-producing Eastern Province.


I hope Trump will also oppose the regimes of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE. These dictatorships actively support Islamist extremism. They are not the West’s allies. The West has no real state allies in the Middle East except Israel.


I pray he will have competent people around him to help him navigate the tense relations in the Middle East.


Well those are the very ‘Gulf states’ mentioned in the article as feeling good about the change in policy regarding Iran, so probably not.


It’s difficult not to think the Middle East is now too far gone for anything good to come out of the situation there.

Russia is much more present in the region than before. It’s allied with Iran, which basically controls Lebanon and eastern Syria through Assad. The Iraqi “government forces” trying to take Mosul are Iranian-led, and we’re helping them do it.

Not much good going on there.


This won’t be likely until we achieve energy independence or, at the very least, a negligible dependence on Middle Eastern oil. Even then, they are useful counters to Iran, whose foreign policy philosophy denies the legitimacy of every non-Islamic, non-Shiite state and calls for their subjugation. The Sunni states allow the US to prevent an Iranian regional hegemon. At the same time, US influence and ties to them also are a shield to Israel, since we can direct them away from confrontation with Israel–a useful ability as long as we are allied with them.


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