South Yemen Fighting Threatens Trump’s Iran Strategy

Saudi-UAE split further threatens idea of anti-Iran alliance

The Trump Administration’s strategy for Iran, such as it is, has never really gotten a lot of backing, but now seems to be crumbling with the war in Yemen driving key allies into rival camps.

This was roughly in line with the Trump conceit of “Arab NATO,” which would be formed around Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Arab states and would be designed as a military alliance to fight Iran so the US didn’t have to directly do so themselves.

Though the bulk of the Gulf Arab states were on board together in Yemen, now there is a major split between factions loyal to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). There seems to be little chance for a quick reconciliation, and that’s probable going to complicate US efforts to drag them together.

And while Saudi Arabia seems to be on board for any anti-Iran ideas, the UAE is increasingly seeming cautious about provoking them, worrying about the stability of the Persian Gulf and what it would mean for shipments.

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.