Israel-UAE Peace Deal Spells Trouble for Iran

Historic Israel-UAE peace deal gives Jerusalem critical intelligence hub on Iran’s doorstep; United Arab Emirates to be vital asset in case of Israeli assault on Iranian nuclear sites.

View of Dubai, UAE
Dubai, UAE (Photo: Unsplash)

Officials in Tehran  have many reasons to worry following the Israel-UAE peace deal. The two countries engaged in secret security cooperation before, but it will now become stronger and deeper.

A diplomatic mission in Abu Dhabi will provide Israel with a permanent presence and an effective platform for close contacts. Now, Israel will also be able to deploy intelligence officers as part of its consular staff. Moreover, growing business ties and regular flights will further enable Jerusalem to position agents and equipment on UAE soil.

It should be noted that the Emirates may not wish to openly work with Israel against Iran, as not to boost regional tensions. However, the deal will make it easier for Abu Dhabi to turn a blind eye to Israeli activities, or for Israel to operate without its partner’s knowledge.  

Notably, UAE is strategically located on Iran’s doorstep and enjoys close (but at times unstable) ties with Tehran. The countries are key trading partners, many Iranian businesses are based in UAE, and hundreds of thousands of Iranians live there. This will offer Israel a treasure trove of valuable intel, and countless opportunities to acquire information and recruit spies.  

All Eyes on Iran’s Nuke Sites

Crucially, UAE will be a tremendous asset for Israel if and when it decides to bomb Iran’s nuclear program. Beyond being an ideal intelligence-gathering hub for a strike, the Emirates can serve as a forward base for managing key aspects of the mission in real time.

Having a friendly country nearby is also vital if things go wrong. Malfunctioning Israeli fighter jets will have a convenient site for an emergency landing, for example. UAE is also well-situated to serve as a base for rescue operations of Israeli pilots if necessarily.

Iranian war planners are fully aware of the potential harm, and are already voicing their anger. Tasnim news agency, known as the mouthpiece of the Revolutionary Guards, said that the Israel-UAE agreement is “shameful.”

The announcement of the peace deal follows two other developments seen as Israeli messages to Tehran.

Last night, Israel tested the Arrow-2 missile defense system by intercepting a projectile simulating an Iranian missile. Earlier today, the Israeli Air Force released footage of fighter jets refueling in midair during a recent mission. Now that Israel-UAE relations are public, Tehran has one more serious cause for concern.