04:28 GMT +318 July 2018
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    Saudi soldiers are seen on top of their tank deployed at the Saudi-Yemeni border, in Saudi Arabia's southwestern Jizan province, on April 13, 2015.

    Middle Eastern 'NATO': Washington Rumored to Ponder Creating Anti-Iranian Bloc

    © AFP 2018 / Fayez Nureldine
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    United States President Donald Trump is ostensibly contemplating establishing a military alliance in the Middle East which will be targeted against Iran, political analyst Alexander Perendzhiev, a lecturer at the Plekhanov Russia University of Economics, told RIA Novosti.

    "The United States could create an organization similar to the North Atlantic Alliance in the Middle East. It will be targeted against the Islamic Republic of Iran and will indirectly pose a threat to Russia since Tehran is our ally in the fight against international terrorism," he suggested.

    President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu participate in a joint news conference in the East Room of the White House
    © AP Photo / Evan Vucci
    Perendzhiev pointed out that such a move would not come as a surprise since Trump was critical of Iran during the election campaign, suggesting that his administration could repeal the nuclear deal.

    The analyst further argued that a "Middle Eastern NATO" would have "aggressive goals" towards Iran.

    "We are not speaking about covert operations. [The new alliance] could launch a large-scale military campaign and the United States apparently wants to use proxies to conduct it," he said. "If the fight against Iran is more important to Trump than the fight against international terrorism, then his policies are unlikely to differ from the ones carried out by his predecessors."

    These comments came in response to unconfirmed reports that the Trump administration has been engaged in talks with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Jordan on creating a NATO-style military alliance which would share intelligence with Israel. However, neither Washington nor Tel Aviv would join the bloc meant to offset Iran's influence. If created, the coalition will apparently adhere to a principle similar to Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty which stipulates that an attack on one country should be treated as an attack on all NATO members, triggering a collective response.

    Defense analyst Igor Korotchenko told RIA Novosti that should Washington succeed in creating a military alliance in the Middle East, the bloc would be detrimental to international and regional security.

    "There are no grounds to create such an alliance targeted against Iran. Iran does not pose a threat to anyone. It has been engaged in the fight against international terrorism," he said, adding that the country "has fulfilled its obligations under the nuclear deal."

    Korotchenko further noted that any efforts aimed at creating a bloc opposed to Iran should not be viewed as "constructive."

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    US foreign policy, military alliance, Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Iran, United States, Russia
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