June 3, 2017

A SHARED INTEREST IN OPPRESSING MUSLIMS:

HACKED EMAILS SHOW TOP UAE DIPLOMAT COORDINATING WITH PRO-ISRAEL THINK TANK AGAINST IRAN (Zaid Jilani, Ryan Grim, June 3 2017, The Intercept)

THE EMAILS PROVIDED so far to the The Intercept show a growing relationship between the United Arab Emirates and the pro-Israel, neoconservative think tank called the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD).

On the surface, the alliance should be surprising, as the UAE does not even recognize Israel. But the two countries have worked together in the past against their common adversary, Iran.

On March 10 of this year, FDD CEO Mark Dubowitz authored an email to both the UAE's ambassador to the United States, Yousef Al-Otaiba, and FDD Senior Counselor John Hannah -- a former deputy national security adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney -- with the subject line "Target list of companies investing in Iran, UAE and Saudi Arabia."

"Dear, Mr. Ambassador," Dubowitz wrote. "The attached memorandum details companies listed by country which are doing business with Iran and also have business with the UAE and Saudi Arabia. This is a target list for putting these companies to a choice, as we have discussed."

Dubowitz's attached memorandum includes a lengthy list of "non-U.S. businesses with operations in Saudi Arabia or UAE that are looking to invest in Iran."

The list includes a number of major international firms, including France's Airbus and Russia's Lukoil.

Presumably, the companies are being identified so that the UAE and Saudi Arabia can pressure them over investing in Iran, which is seeing an expansion of foreign investment following the 2015 nuclear deal.

Israel and the Gulf monarchies have grown closer in recent years, as both sides fear that Iran is moving closer to normalization with the West and will therefore increase its own influence and power in the region. But admissions of the alliance between the two are still rare in public. One high-level Israeli official, discussing the relationship on background for a previous HuffPost profile of Otaiba, laid out the politics of it. "Israel and the Arabs standing together is the ultimate ace in the hole. Because it takes it out of the politics and the ideology. When Israel and the Arab states are standing together, it's powerful," he said.

The hacked emails demonstrate a remarkable level of backchannel cooperation between a leading neoconservative think tank -- FDD is funded by pro-Israel billionaire Sheldon Adelson, an ally of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who is one of the largest political donors in the United States  -- and a Gulf monarchy.

None of the regimes can withstand self-determination.
Posted by at June 3, 2017 3:45 PM

  

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