Our Arab allies are concerned about U.S.-Iranian rapprochement following the deal
Israel, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and other Arab states express wariness of a possible nuclear deal with Iran for several reasons. Most obviously, they note that Iran will be left with significant capabilities to enrich uranium—capabilities that could be mobilized to produce nuclear weapons in violation of the proposed agreement and the NPT. These states also worry that a nuclear agreement would ease the way for normalization of relations between the United States and Iran. In that event, they worry that the preference the United States has given to their interests over Iran’s since 1979 could be reversed.
Given Iran’s overall economic and strategic advantages relative to the Gulf Cooperation Council states, these countries see U.S.-Iranian rapprochement as a threat. They will press the United States to exert itself against Iran in other domains of policy, particularly counterterrorism and the Sunni-Shia contests in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, and elsewhere. They will work with the United States and France, especially, to deploy intelligence and military capabilities to counter Iran.
U.S. allies in the gulf region are right to be concerned about an empowered and unfettered Iran after the nuclear deal. Additionally, there are concerns that the growing U.S.-Iranian rapproachment will further destabilize the Middle East.