UAE seeks written US security guarantee on Iran

United Arab Emirates Ambassador to the U.S. Yousef al Otaiba said his country is seeking a ‘written’ security guarantee from the U.S. (File: AP)

The United Arab Emirates is seeking some form of U.S. security guarantee from President Barack Obama’s Camp David meeting with the six Gulf Cooperation Council nations, the ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to Washington said on Thursday.

“We are looking for (some form of) security guarantee given the behavior of Iran in the region,” Ambassador Youssef Al Otaiba said at a Washington think tank. “In the past, we have survived with a gentleman’s agreement with the United States about security … I think today we need something in writing. We need something institutionalized.”

Obama has invited GCC leaders for meetings in Washington and at the Camp David presidential retreat May 13-14, an offer he made following the conclusion of a framework nuclear agreement with Iran.

The GCC is comprised of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar.

Obama also is expected to make a renewed U.S. push next week to help Gulf allies create a region-wide defense system to guard against Iranian missiles as he seeks to allay their anxieties over the proposed nuclear deal with Tehran, according to U.S. sources.