Israel, Egypt and the UAE to Form a Joint Defence Strategy Against Iran


Foreign Affairs

Tel Aviv: The summit in Egypt earlier this week between the heads of Israel, Egypt and the UAE will have dramatic effects on the regional cooperation against the continued aggression of Iran.

President Biden’s decision to take the Iran’s Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) out of the list of terror organizations resulted in surprising defence ties between Israel, Egypt and the UAE. The three heads of states held a summit in Egypt, and according  to Israeli sources, started to form a joint defence strategy against Iran, after the new nuclear agreement is signed and after the IRGC are out of the terror list.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett made a surprise visit to Sharm e-Sheikh in Egypt on March 22, to meet with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (MBZ).

Among the issues that have been discussed at the trilateral meeting are “a long list of security interests”, a diplomatic source said.

United Arab Emirates and Israel oppose the removal of the IRGC from the US list of foreign terrorist organizations.

Brig. General (Ret.) Amos Gilead said that the summit is no less than a dramatic event, “this is even more dramatic as the summit was made public including images”. Gilead added that the summit dealt with strategic issues vital to the security of the three countries in face of the fast changing situation caused by the US and Iran. “I can see a very wide cooperation between the three countries in issues that until recently looked unthinkable.”

Gilead served in many high-ranking positions in the Israeli defence forces (IDF), among them as Head of the Military Intelligence Research Division and Responsible for the Overall National Intelligence Assessment.

According to Israeli defence sources, the UAE residents “are shocked”, like Israel by Washington’s decision to take out the IRGC from the terror list.

Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid released a statement last Friday saying they “find it hard to believe that the IRGC’s designation… will be removed in exchange for a promise not to harm Americans…. We believe the [US] will not abandon its closest allies in exchange for empty promises from terrorists.”

Israeli defence sources said that it is clear that the UAE came to the conclusion that trying to persuade Washington to change its attitude is a “waste of time”. One of the sources added that President Biden sees China as America’s major problem and therefore put all other issues on Ice.

The defence sources said that from reports received in Israel, the UAE has found it difficult to work with the Biden administration on defence issues, and the relationship has deteriorated. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reportedly cancelled a planned trip to the UAE and Saudi Arabia. He is expected to visit Israel in the coming weeks.

Israeli political sources said that it should be remembered that MBZ and Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman declined to take calls from US President Joe Biden. “This to show their frustration  and anger from the U.S policy in the Gulf region”.

The Gulf states share with Israel their anger about the situation, where the Houthi rebels in Yemen, one of the main and most active Iranian proxies repeatedly attack Saudi Arabia and the UAE , and this after Washington removed them from the list of terror organizations.

“Someone in DC refuses to see the facts and acts based on imaginary scripts”, one of the Israeli political sources said.

An Israeli defence source said that Washington decision to take the IRGC out of the list of terror organizations, comes in spite of the fact that this major Iranian force, in recent months increased the delivery of drones to its proxies in the region and beyond. He noted that now Iranian-backed forces in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, as well as Hezbollah in Lebanon, have received these drones, adding that they were also sold to Venezuela.

According to the Lebanese TV station Al – Miyadin, last month Israeli armed UAV’s that took off from Irbil in Iraq,  performed an attack on an Iranian base were Iranian  UAV’s were stored. According to the report, Six Israeli UAV’s performed the attack inflicting heavy damage to the base and destroyed “hundreds” of Iranian UAV’s of different types. Satellite images released earlier this week , showed the heavy damage caused to the Iranian UAV base.