Dubai: The Arab states that lie just miles across the Gulf from Iran are nervously eyeing the prospects of a war between Tehran and the West that none of them want and all know could devastate their economies.
This very real fear is prompting the oil-rich states to enhance their defences while hoping that diplomacy can rein in Tehran's regional ambitions and put an end to its worrying nuclear programme.
"No one in the Gulf States wants war but everyone is preparing for the possibility that it might happen," said military analyst Riad Kahwaji.
Tension has escalated as the West continues to squeeze Tehran over its nuclear programme, with the EU threatening a total ban on Iranian oil imports.
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Iran has threatened to close the strategic Strait of Hormuz - which links the Gulf to the Arabian Sea and through which 20 percent of the world's sea-transported oil flows - if its petroleum sales are blocked.
The United States, whose navy's Fifth Fleet is based in the Gulf state of Bahrain and which has a military presence in a number of other countries - has told Tehran bluntly that it will not tolerate any such move.RThese staunch Washington allies would be sucked into war with Iran if Tehran targets them, said Kahwaji, who ru... >>>
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