An Update from CUFI Action Fund
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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in the Middle East this week, where he is meeting with leaders in Israel as well as several Arab countries in the hopes of replicating the normalization of relations between the United Arab Emirates and Israel. Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, expressed optimism in in an interview stating that we would soon see other Arab countries choose to join the growing coalition of countries abandoning unnecessary quarrels with the Jewish state and choosing instead to focus on peace and prosperity in the region.

Speaking of Allies

American leadership has enabled a growing coalition of nations to confront the evil regimes of the Middle East. Israel, the UAE, Greece, Cypress and of course, United States itself and each new addition to this Anti-Extremist Alliance is a strong signal for all those nations concerned with and affected by Iranian and Turkish malevolence.

As an example, just this past week, Emirati F-16 fighter jets participated in a joint exercise with Greek Armed Forces. This and other developments such as the CUFI-backed Eastern Mediterranean Security and Energy Partnership Act show that there is broad support across the Mediterranean and the Middle East for confronting Turkey’s aggressive behavior. It should be noted that the head of Israeli intelligence recently was reported as saying that “Iranian power is fragile,” to his counterparts from Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the Emirates, “but the real threat is from Turkey.”

Speaking of Turkey

Turkey, which earlier this month granted citizenship to Hamas terrorists, decided to meet with them yet again in recent days. Hamas senior leaders Ismail Haniyeh and Saleh al-Arouri met with Turkey’s strongman, radical Islamist President Recep Tayip Erdogan late last week. Readers may recall that al-Arouri was behind the infamous and brutal kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers in 2014. He was soon thereafter sanctioned by the United States and a $5M bounty was placed on him by the State Department.

Beyond its naked support for terror, Turkey has continued to provoke the ire of a host of countries – from Greece to France to Egypt and many others – for its continued violations of territorial waters of its neighbors for the claimed purpose of gas exploration.

Under President Erodgan, Turkey has become a pariah state. The CUFI Action Fund believes that a drastic change in Ankara’s behavior is a vital precondition to any future arms sales or economic progress with Turkey.

Speaking of Pariah States

We noted in last week’s Update that the UN Security Council, true to form, failed to extend a conventional arms embargo against the Islamic Republic that is set to expire in October. As a result, the Trump administration is seeking to utilize the “snapback” provision in the relevant UN Security Council Resolution to reimpose sanctions against the Islamic Republic abrogated under the disastrous deal. The CUFI Action Fund supports the administration’s effort to do so.

We have long held that Iran’s nuclear ambitions could lead to widespread nuclear proliferation in the Middle East, and on Monday our Director of Public Policy and Strategy, Boris Zilberman, published an op-ed detailing the proliferation-associated dangers of a “JCPOA 2.0” over at Newsweek.

In the piece Zilberman notes, “A JCPOA 2.0 very well might push Abu Dhabi and Riyadh over the edge to seek their own unrestrained nuclear ambitions… If world powers, and the Europeans in particular, are interested in restraining nuclear proliferation in the Middle East, then sanctions against Tehran should snap back and a second round of Iranian appeasement should be taken off the table.”

From Iran’s nuclear ambitions and support for terror to Turkey’s hegemonic ambitions and support for terror, one could be forgiven if they thought the outlook for the Middle East, North Africa and the Mediterranean looked bleak. But we are cautiously optimistic.

America has shown in word and deed that through strong leadership we are once again able to help guide our allies in the direction of stability and prosperity. Arab states are making peace with Israel. And while they may lash out, the economies of the aforementioned evil regimes are crumbling and they find themselves increasingly isolated on the world’s stage. As long as you stay engaged and therefore ensure the US stays engaged in these issues, the future will be bright.


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