- President Obama meets with UAE crown prince, lobbies to build regional support for Iran negotiations
President Barack Obama met with the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, at the White House on Monday to discuss regional issues and the UAE’s need for military equipment. The White House’s readout of the meeting said that the two leaders discussed a variety of issues, including “close defense and security cooperation” and “a range of regional challenges, including the ongoing conflicts in Yemen, Libya, Iraq and Syria,” and the ongoing talks regarding Iran’s nuclear program. President Obama is reportedly “aggressively lobbying” Arab leaders to support a deal over Iran’s nuclear program in the run-up to a meeting in mid-May with the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) at the White House and Camp David.
Gulf states, including the United Arab Emirates, are seeking security assurances and weaponry from the United States in the face of Iranian regional aggression. According to The Wall Street Journal, “Greater security assurances for the U.A.E. and the GCC could include new arms sales, an increased U.S. military footprint in the Persian Gulf and the establishment of clear red lines that could prompt U.S. military action against Iran.” The UAE is expected to be the world’s third-largest importer of military equipment by this year. It already has 80 F-16s, is seeking to purchase 30 more, and is also reportedly interested in the F-35 warplane. In 2013, the U.S. agreed to sell bunker-buster bombs and cruise missiles to the UAE.
The UAE has expressed concerns about Iran’s nuclear program and regional ambitions in the past. In July 2010, the UAE’s ambassador to the United States, Yousef al-Otaiba, was quoted as saying, “We cannot live with a nuclear Iran. I am willing to absorb what takes place [subsequent to an airstrike] at the expense of the security of the U.A.E.” Other Arab states, including Saudi Arabia, have also made their anxiety about Iran clear. Turki al-Faisal, the former chief of Saudi intelligence, said in a March interview: “I've always said whatever comes out of these talks, we will want the same.” According to Amos Yadlin, the former head of IDF intelligence, “[If Iran gets the bomb] the Saudis will not wait one month. They already paid for the bomb, they will go to Pakistan and bring what they need to bring.”
The United States government has known for "several years" that Iran's breakout time—the amount of time required to produce enough fissile material for a nuclear bomb—is only two to three months, but only declassified the information recently, Eli Lake reported today for Bloomberg View.
Lake noted that in 2013, when President Barack Obama sought to play down the sense of urgency with regard to Iran's nuclear program, he said that Iran couldn't assemble a bomb in less than a year; now that he's seeking to convince Congress to accept the deal following the parameters announced earlier this month, he announced the shorter breakout time.
Israeli wireless charging pioneer Powermat, already the platform of choice for such global leaders as Duracell, General Motors, AT&T and Starbucks, recently announced a strategic collaboration with Samsung. Starting with the new Galaxy S6, all Samsung devices will be optimized to work with the fast-growing Powermat network of charging hotspots. This network currently includes select US and London Starbucks locations, select McDonald’s locations, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf stores, New York’s Madison Square Garden, Delta Airline Lounges, and other American and international venues. “We are very pleased to bring the Galaxy S6, the world’s first embedded wireless charging solution that supports any wireless charging pad available in the market,” said Peter Koo, Senior Vice President of Samsung Technology Strategy Team. “Through close engineering together with Powermat, our customers will be able to enjoy the hassle-free, convenient wireless charging anywhere, anytime.” Devices that are not equipped for wireless charging can be charged at Powermat stations with the addition of a Duracell Powermat Ring, available for purchase, rent or loan from participating Starbucks. As part of Powermat’s GM affiliation, Cadillac added wireless charging spots in its 2015 ATS sport sedan and coupe; CTS sport sedan and Escalade SUV. “Our lifestyles have evolved in a more mobile way than ever before and with that comes an even greater need for access to power in those places where we spend the majority of our time,” said Powermat CEO Ran Poliakine. “Our integration into the Cadillac ATS is only the first step in the evolution of portable power in places that include your car, your coffee house and even your favorite sporting arena.” (via Israel21c)