Washington           -     The Israel-UAE agreement gives the United States a rare diplomatic success in the Middle East -- but it is Iran which President Donald Trump has in his sights, with a strategy that has already hit roadblocks at the United Nations.

The White House has lavished praise on a foreign policy coup which was sorely needed by a president seeking re-election in November who has little to show on the diplomatic front. “This is a dramatic breakthrough that will make the Middle East safer,” chief US negotiator Jared Kushner told CBS. “It means less American troops will have to be over there.”

“Assuming the deal works, it’s the first time Israel has established normalized relations with any Gulf nation and for that reason it’s significant,” said Aaron David Miller, a former diplomat who served as Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiator in Democratic and Republican administrations.

But, Miller cautioned, “don’t blow this out of proportion. “I don’t buy that it’s on the same level of magnitude or accomplishment as Egypt or Jordan,” said Miller, now a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

“This is the UAE we’re talking about. This is not the Arab world’s most powerful nation like Egypt. This isn’t even a country that has a contiguous border with Israel.”  Barbara Slavin of the Atlantic Council, another Washington think-tank, described the agreement as a “good move” but “not earthshaking in view of the covert ties the two countries have had for a very long time.”

But the Palestinians have refused to play along with an administration seen as staunchly pro-Israel, and rejected the US president’s “Vision for Peace” unveiled in January.

Miller said the Israel-UAE normalization agreement does little to advance Trump’s “vision” of overall Middle East peace. What’s more, he added, “the administration’s motivation has nothing to do with Israeli-Palestinian peace.”

“It’s about domestic policy,” Miller said. “This is about making the president look good, demonstrating some measure of competency and fulfilling at least some degree of what the administration claimed it would do from the beginning -- which is to make peace between Israel and the Arab world.” Above all, Miller said, “it helps give rise to the image that there is an anti-Iran coalition.”

“But I’m not sure that’s going to get very far,” he continued, unless Trump can get other Arab countries such as Morocco, Bahrain and Oman to sign on. Trump has made it clear that his main objective in the Middle East is neutralizing Iran.