Al-Arabiya Director Calls Nuclear Iran ‘Most Dangerous Threat That is Facing Our Region in 100 Years’
July 21, 2010 - 6:55 PMWriting in the London based Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper, Abdul Rahman Al-Rashid, general manager of Dubai-based Al-Arabiya TV, said that a nuclear Iran would seek to dominate the Gulf States in the Middle East and said he supported a military attack against Iran before it produces nuclear weapons.
Al-Rashid was writing in support of statements made by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ambassador to the United States Youssef Al-Otaiba, indicating approval for a U.S. attack on Iran. The U.A.E. deputy foreign minister, Tareq Al-Haidan, later said that the ambassador’s comments "were taken out of context.”
“(W)hat is truly wrong is the reluctance of our politicians to express their opinions and concerns towards the most dangerous threat that is facing our region in a hundred years,” Al-Rashid wrote.
While recognizing that Iran may not attack the Gulf States with nuclear weapons, Al-Rashid says that Iran, “would certainly seek to dominate them, and perhaps take over a number of Gulf States, in the knowledge that no major power in the world will dare to interfere as they are protected by their nuclear arms.”
Al-Rashid speculates that Iran will not attack Israel because the Israelis would respond by “burying them with a hundred nuclear bombs, wiping them off the map, while still having an arsenal of hundreds of nuclear bombs.”
Al-Rashid also says Iran will not attack the United States with nuclear weapons because America is too far away and would similarly respond with overwhelming nuclear force.
Speaking at the Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado on July 6, a reporter from The Atlantic asked Ambassador Al-Otaiba, “Do you want the U.S. to stop the Iranian nuclear program by force?” The ambassador responded, “Absolutely, absolutely.”
"I think it's a cost-benefit analysis," the Washington Times quoted Ambassador Al-Otaiba as saying. "I think despite the large amount of trade we do with Iran, which is close to $12 billion … there will be consequences, there will be a backlash and there will be problems with people protesting and rioting and very unhappy that there is an outside force attacking a Muslim country; that is going to happen no matter what."
"If you are asking me, 'Am I willing to live with that versus living with a nuclear Iran?' my answer is still the same: 'We cannot live with a nuclear Iran.' I am willing to absorb what takes place at the expense of the security of the U.A.E.," the ambassador said.
“I’ve spent a lot of time in the Middle East … and I will tell you that in my meetings with various leaders in the Middle East, there isn’t one of them that isn’t focused on Iran,” Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) said at the Washington, D.C., premiere of “Countdown to Zero,” a movie about nuclear proliferation.
In audio of his speech, obtained by CNSNews.com, Kerry said, “There isn’t one of them in either the Gulf States, or Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kuwait, other countries, that hasn’t said that if Iran gets a nuclear weapon, that they feel compelled for their defense to go down that road. So it is patently clear that a world free of nuclear weapons, countdown to zero, is a world that does not pass through Tehran’s nuclearization.”
Kerry further said, “It’s not just that Tehran would abuse it’s nuclear power to project its own agenda, but it is also the fear that as other nations proliferate, any terrorist group then has greater target of opportunity in order to get a hold of nuclear fissile material.
“And I’m sure it’s in the film, though I haven’t seen the film, but Osama bin Laden makes it patently evident that it is a goal of al Qaeda. In fact it is a jihadist holy duty to secure a nuclear weapon,” he added.
Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton recently told Human Events that he would advise President Obama to preemptively attack Iran’s nuclear program.
“We have the capability unambiguously to stop the program,” Bolton said. “I think the Israelis can stop it, but I think we could do it a lot better.
“One thing that’s important to understand, that the Obama administration manifestly does not understand, is that even an Israeli attack against the Iranian nuclear program would be supported in the Arab world,” Bolton said.
“It would be supported by the Arab states of the Persian Gulf region. It would be supported by Egypt and others who don’t want Iran to have nuclear weapons any more than the Israelis do,” he added.
“The UAE totally rejects the use of force as a solution to the Iranian nuclear issue,” according to Al-Haidan. "The UAE, at the same time, believes in the need of keeping the Gulf region free of nuclear weapons.”