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While Iran has a long way to go, it's hard to take the view that what America needs to do to meet its vital national interests is to strengthen the Saudi hand in the world while keeping Iran isolated. So as president Obama quoted Yitzhak Rabin "You don't make peace with friends." You make it with very unsavory enemies."
Projecting an image of being politically and culturally on the cutting edge, the UAE carefully picks its battles. Participation in the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State, the jihadist group that controls a swath of Syria and Iraq, has projected the Emirates as a military force to be reckoned with. Soccer is the Emirates' next target.