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Trump weighing more aggressive Iran strategy in Gulf

Mark Dubowitz
12th September 2017 - Quoted by Joyce Karam - The National

Donald Trump may embrace a plan that would escalate counter Iranian measures in the Arab Gulf, Yemen and Egypt while largely avoiding any confrontation with Tehran's paramilitaries in Iraq and Syria.

The long awaited Iran strategy review was presented to the US president during a national security council meeting on Friday and calls "for more aggressive US responses to Iran’s forces," according to Reuters.

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Mark Dubowitz, the executive director at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), said he was not surprised by the proposal.

“The administration may want to sequence its regional strategy by first demolishing ISIL before turning its attention to neutralising and rolling back Iranian aggression in Syria and Iraq," he told The National. "But it better not wait too long" the expert cautioned or "the Iranian regime will be deeply entrenched from Iran through Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and into the Mediterranean."

At that point "it will be impossible to dislodge without a major commitment of US firepower" Mr Dubowitz said.

Faysal Itani, a senior fellow with Atlantic Council's Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, said the proposal conforms with Mr Trump's modus operandi in the region.

The US President "wants to push back against Iran mostly in the sense of protecting allies from direct Iranian threat, be it against Bahrain or in Saudi Arabia via Yemen,” he said.

"Obviously these are the allies' primary concerns, that come ahead of Iran's role in Iraq and Syria."

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Tags

gulf-states, iran