Thanks to the Abraham Accords, Jordan and Israel Are Concluding a Solar-Energy and Water Deal

Accompanying Israel’s normalization agreements with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain has been much hope that these would usher in something more robust than the “cold peace” resulting from Israel’s peace treaties with Egypt (1977) and Jordan (1994), which have brought out-of-the-spotlight security and intelligence cooperation, but not much in the way of economic or cultural exchange. Not only have the events of the past year suggested that such hope was merited, but now there is also reason to believe that the Abraham Accords are helping to expand the relationship between Amman and Jerusalem. Lahav Harkov reports:

Israel and Jordan are set next week to sign a cooperation agreement in the areas of energy and water in the United Arab Emirates, which helped to mediate the agreement. The agreement states that Israel and Jordan will help each other deal with the challenges of climate change.

Israel agreed to examine the possible construction of a designated desalination plant to export more water to Jordan at full price, and Jordan will consider building a solar field in the desert in Jordan to export clean energy to Israel, which lacks open space, and to test solar-energy storage solutions.

The energy agreement is based on the Water and Energy Nexus, a project of EcoPeace Middle East, which brings together Israeli, Palestinian, and Jordanian environmental experts and activists.

Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Abraham Accords, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Water

An American Withdrawal from Iraq Would Hand Another Victory to Iran

Since October 7, the powerful network of Iran-backed militias in Iraq have carried out 120 attacks on U.S. forces stationed in the country. In the previous year, there were dozens of such attacks. The recent escalation has led some in the U.S. to press for the withdrawal of these forces, whose stated purpose in the country is to stamp out the remnants of Islamic State and to prevent the group’s resurgence. William Roberts explains why doing so would be a mistake:

American withdrawal from Iraq would cement Iran’s influence and jeopardize our substantial investment into the stabilization of Iraq and the wider region, threatening U.S. national security. Critics of the U.S. military presence argue that [it] risks a regional escalation in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Iran. However, in the long term, the U.S. military has provided critical assistance to Iraq’s security forces while preventing the escalation of other regional conflicts, such as clashes between Turkey and Kurdish groups in northern Iraq and Syria.

Ultimately, the only path forward to preserve a democratic, pluralistic, and sovereign Iraq is through engagement with the international community, especially the United States. Resisting Iran’s takeover will require the U.S. to draw international attention to the democratic backsliding in the country and to be present and engage continuously with Iraqi civil society in military and non-military matters. Surrendering Iraq to Iran’s agents would not only squander our substantial investment in Iraq’s stability; it would greatly increase Iran’s capability to threaten American interests in the Levant through its influence in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon.

Read more at Providence

More about: Iran, Iraq, U.S. Foreign policy