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While Russia & Communist China distract America, Near Eastern powers redraw alliances

SCMP: 'The blunt refusal of all of Washington’s allies in the Middle East to join the Western diplomatic alliance against Moscow reflects their urgent need to prevent Iran from filling the geopolitical space being vacated by the US, analysts said.

'With Tehran on the threshold of reaching an agreement with the West in Vienna to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, America’s allies in the Middle East are deeply concerned that the prospective lifting of many economic sanctions would embolden Iran.

'These concerns will take centrestage at an unprecedented Israel-hosted conference on Sunday, with the foreign ministers of Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in attendance.

'It was preceded on Saturday by an informal meeting in Jordan between King Hussein, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan of the UAE, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi and Saudi cabinet minister Prince Mohammed bin Fahd bin Abdulaziz.

'Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and its allies in Iraq, Syria and Yemen have targeted Tehran’s rivals with ballistic missiles and explosives-laden drones.'

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