On Saturday US defence secretary Chuck Hagel told the Gulf states that the US is highly committed to the security of the Middle East and that the deal with Iran was to “buy time for meaningful negotiations, not for deception.”
Hagel said that the United States has a proven and enduring commitment to Middle East security, backed by diplomatic engagement and a fierce array of warplanes, ships, tanks, artillery and 35,000 troops reported Reuters.
Speaking at the regional security forum in Al-Manama, Hagel recognised the fears of the leaders of Gulf states regarding the Geneva Deal over Iran’s nuclear programme. But he stressed that “diplomacy should not be misinterpreted.”
“We know diplomacy cannot operate in a vacuum. Our success will continue to hinge on America’s military power, and the credibility of our assurances to our allies and partners in the Middle East,” he said.
It has been reported that Gulf leaders have criticised US policy in the Middle East since the signature of the Geneva Deal. In an effort to lessen the tension in the relations between these states and the US, Hagel aimed to reassure the Gulf leaders in his speech: “Iran has been a profoundly destabilising influence, and a nuclear-armed Iran would pose an unacceptable threat to regional and global stability.”
In terms of the agreement, he said it was an effort that “bought time for meaningful negotiation, not for deception.” He stressed that US diplomacy would ultimately be backed up by military commitments and cooperation with regional partners.
Regarding the quality of the US weaponry in the region, Hagel explained that the US has deployed its most advanced fighter aircraft, including the radar-evading F-22, more than 40 Navy vessels patrol the waters nearby, including an aircraft carrier and its supporting warships.