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HomeGlobal Perspective & Critical ResearchWhat The UAE-Israel Deal Really Means For The Middle East

What The UAE-Israel Deal Really Means For The Middle East

Author: Simon Watkins


Date/Place: August 31, 2020/UK

Type of Literature: Analysis 

Word Count:1500


Keywords: UAE-Israel deal, Iran, Saudi Arabia


The announcement on 13th August that the United Arab Emirates and Israel have made a new deal to normalize their relations implies multiple things for the regional powerhouses of Saudi Arabia and Iran. The UAE’s move plans to ally with the US and its regional partner, Israel, to get business and financial benefits in the future, to recover its loss from the Saudi-led oil price war in the recent past, and to be an integral part of the US-Israel security and intelligence networks against Iran. One part of the intelligence sharing between the UAE and Israel (and, the US by extension) has been the increasing purchases of commercial and residential properties by UAE based businesses in Iran’s southern region, Khuzestan, where the vital part of the country’s oil and gas reserve are found. While these businesses are funded by Israeli companies to enable Israel’s presence in Iran through UAE, the new deal between the two expands the chances for increased intelligence gathering and economic and political interference within Iran’s border. On the other hand, Iran has been forming military deals with China and Russia for common strategic, regional, and international goals and interests including to deter the US’s unilateralism in the region. Saudi Arabia’s position regarding the deal is sympathetic and quietly supportive, but it is not likely to normalize relations. An indicator of this is that the funds for new settlements of UAE citizens and businesses in Iran’s Khuzestan province come from Saudi Arabia-affiliated organizations. 

By: Jemal Muhamed, CIGA Senior Research Associate



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