President Barack Obama will re-engage with Gulf State allies at a summit next week on a proposal for a common ballistic missile defense system that could act as a deterrent to a potentially nuclear armed Iran, a U.S. official confirms to CNN on Wednesday.
Building up that common defense infrastructure and architecture for the Gulf region will be a key part of next week’s summit which is scheduled to take place at the White House and Camp David, the official added.
The official said that the goal would be for the Gulf states to operate the missile defense system themselves, with the U.S. providing advisory and technical support.
A ballistic missile defense system for the Gulf Cooperation Council is something the Obama administration has recommended for some time, the official noted, and also cautioned that missile defense is only one component of a range of security measures that will be discussed.
The U.S. official said the president’s goal is building a defense infrastructure and architecture for the Gulf region that also includes maritime security, border security, and counter-terrorism.
The administration’s proposals for greater defense cooperation with Gulf State allies appear to be aimed at easing concerns in the region about the proposed nuclear deal with Iran, negotiated by the U.S., Tehran, and other world powers.