The Persian Gulf Cooperation Council members all demanded from the United States of America both security guarantees and military hardware for their support of the Iran nuclear deal. The group includes Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirate and Oman. The council, established in 1981, is currently in negotiations to add Jordan, Morocco and Yemen into the fold.
Give us weapons
Among the demands to security guarantees, the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council has demanded a cauldron of military hardware. According to sources, the requested hardware include advance guided missile systems and F-35 fighter planes, the most technological piece of military hardware the United States possesses at the moment. In addition, the group, which is schedule to meet with Obama later this month, is requesting advanced surveillance equipment.
The security guarantees of the deal delineate the military intervention by the United States in the case of Iran threatening any of the council countries. Critics of the potential agreement between the United States and the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council point to the fact that sharing military hardware with countries hostile to the state of Israel will put our strongest ally in the region at risk.
Ignoring the risks?
The Obama administration has not released a statement regarding the criticism or details of any potential agreement with the members of the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council. What is at the forefront of the concern by critics is the recent political destabilization of Yemen, an Arab state in line to join the council.
What would happen to advanced military hardware if it were to fall in the hands of Islamic extremists in future overthrows of governments in the region? The most recent history in both Iraq and Yemen leave a great deal of concern regarding the issue of sharing this technology with weak governments in the region.
While the details of the Iran deal framework have not been released to the public, leaders of both Middle Eastern and Western governments are studying the potential benefits and risks of such a deal. There is no doubt that any potential agreement with the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council will face harsh challenges from both the State of Israel and the GOP controlled U.S. Congress.