Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Arab states' concerns about Iran's nuclear program are revealled

From Washington Post, Monday, November 29, 2010; by Janine Zacharia:

TEL AVIV - Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu expressed hope Monday that U.S. diplomatic cables revealing that several Arab states share his country's concern about Iran's nuclear weapons program could build momentum for tougher international action against the effort.

"More and more states, governments and leaders in the Middle East and the wider region and the world believe [Iran] is the fundamental threat," Netanyahu said, referring to disclosures in cables released by the Web site WikiLeaks. According to the cables, some leaders, including Saudi King Abdullah, have advocated using military action to stop the Iranian nuclear program.

"There's a gap between what they say privately and publicly," Netanyahu said at an annual gathering of the Tel Aviv Journalists' Association. Regional leaders read publicly from one "script" that says the "greatest threat is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," Netanyahu said. "But in reality, leaders understand that this narrative is bankrupt...."

...The leaked documents show that "the entire world, not just Israel, is panicked over the Iranian nuclear program," wrote Sever Plocker, a commentator for the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth.

The leak, he said, "strengthens the main message" of the United States and Israel that "Iran poses the greatest clear and present danger to the stability of the world, and the world has to act to remove this malignant tumor."

...Zalman Shoval, a former Israeli ambassador to the United States and an adviser to Netanyahu on Israeli-U.S. relations, said the notion that the United States could not take tougher action on Iran without first moving forward on the Israeli-Palestinian front was undermined by the WikiLeaks disclosures...
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