After US Pledges, Gulf States Back Iran Nuclear Deal

Qatar Endorses Pact as 'Best Available Option'

After the US made further security commitments to the GCC member nations, including speeding up the shipment of missiles to those six nations, the Gulf Arab states have confirmed they are backing the P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran.

Saudi Arabia, by far the largest and most influential of the GCC nations, detests Iran and had been opposing the nuclear negotiations virtually throughout. After the deal was finally reached, however, the focus seems to have shifted to getting sufficient “compensation” from the US to sign off on it.

Qatar was the loudest in supporting the deal, with FM Khalid bin Mohammad al-Attiyah declaring it the “best available option” and talking up the idea of returning to “neighborliness” in the region. That may be a tall order, with the Saudis seeing themselves as the defender of the faith for Sunni Islam, and seeing Shi’ite Iran as their primary regional rival.

The US has been eager to buy off opponents of the Iran deal, with the bidding for Israel’s acquiescence expected to go into the billions of dollars. None of these nations were parties to the deal in the first place, however, and their public approval doesn’t mean much in practical terms.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.