Strait of Hormuz
13 February 2023

Following U.S.-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Defence Working Group meetings in Riyadh, a senior U.S. defence official remarked that “there is a shared assessment between the U.S. and the GCC of the threats that face us… We spent extensive amounts of time today focused on the full set of threats from Iran, whether it’s Iranian proliferation of UAVs to non-state actors across the region… and, of course, the ongoing threat to U.S. forces who are in Iraq and Syria”. She further highlighted that “Iranian aggression at sea remains a serious concern… the work to bring partners together and the increased rate of maritime interdiction speaks both to the serious nature of the threats we face at sea, and to how we can effectively address those threats through increased cooperation”. “We also spent time focusing on increased Iranian-Russian military cooperation, the illicit transfer of Iranian weapons to Russia for use in Ukraine that are actively killing Ukrainian civilians and how that increased military cooperation has serious implications for the stability and security of the Middle East”, the U.S. official added, while emphasising: “When it comes to the specific working groups, integrated air and missile defense and maritime… there has been no other moment in time in which the prospect for meaningful integration is more real than today”.

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