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Gulf monarchies feel let down by their US ally and want good relations with their Iran but also fear the Geneva nuclear deal will boost its regional ambitions, analysts say.

Saudi Arabia and the oil- and gas-rich nations of the Gulf were weighing their reactions on Sunday hours after the agreement was signed between Iran and Western powers. Gulf states have never made a secret of their concerns about Iranian regional ambitions. "In principle, the Gulf states want good relations with Iran," Saudi analyst Jamal Khashoggi told AFP. "But the (Geneva) agreement has reduced the Iran problem to the nuclear level only, while its regional interference is of key concern to these countries."Khashoggi said Gulf states "fear Iran will see this accord as encouragement to act with a free hand in the region".

Tehran is a key backer of Syria govt in his fight against a nearly three-year insurrection. The Islamic republic is also seen as feeding instability in Bahrain and Yemen its communities there. The Gulf states and Israel do not see eye-to-eye on Iran, said Khashoggi, adding that "the main problem of the Jewish state is (its own) nuclear" capability.

For Saudi analyst Anwar Eshki, head of the Jeddah-based Middle East Centre for Strategic and Legal Studies, the deal "is not negative, but it is not enough". "We are worried," said Eshki, pointing to the $7 billion. "We need to know whether these funds will be used by the Iranian regime for its own people, or to further finance crises in the region," he said, listing Gulf nations' grievances with Iran.

Distrust of Iran among Gulf states is fed by the fear that their traditional protector and ally the US has abandoned them. According to Khashoggi, officials in Gulf countries feel the Obama administration "is no longer interested in regional problems" in the Middle East. This stand-off approach by Washington to the oil-producing region comes with the United States set to become the world's top oil producer by 2015, because of booming shale oil output. "Countries in the region no longer have any confidence in the United States," said Emirati analyst Abdulkhaleq Abdullah.

For him, Washington "was over-zealous" in seeking to reach a speedy agreement with Iran's new president, Hassan Rouhani. "But they (Gulf states) do retain confidence in other allies France and Germany," he said, noting that the deal is "good in that it was agreed between Iran and the international community, not Iran and the US". Abdullah said Gulf nations "may end up being the main beneficiaries of this agreement as it should defuse tensions in the region".–AFP