America would like to fight ? Iran
Stop this propaganda and confess, “
America is enslaved by the zio-nazi forces and they will fight and die for Israel as they are doing now in Iraq, , …. “
The Arabs are not afraid of Nuclear
. Those feudal lords who are short changing their own population from education, free speech, justice and democracy are worried about Iran . Iran
Expert, News behind the News
Fears of an arms race, an environmental catastrophe and Shiite uprisings are making the nation's neighbors uneasy, writes Herald Correspondent Jason Koutsoukis.
During a visit to the Persian Gulf this week to drum up support for harsher sanctions against Iran, the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, outlined three options facing the Arab states.
"They can just give in to the threat [from Iran]," she said. "Or they can seek their own capabilities, including nuclear; or they ally themselves with a country like the United States that is willing to help defend them . . . I think the third is by far the preferable option."
For centuries, Persia – a heartland of Shiite Islam – has vied for control of the Middle East with the predominantly Sunni Arabs. But ever since Iran's popular revolution of 1979 that unseated the ruthless US-backed Shah Mohammad Pahlavi, Arab leaders have been spooked by thoughts of rebellious sentiment in Iran spilling over into their own backyards.
Countries such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have always regarded their significant Shiite populations as being vulnerable to influence from Islamic leaders in Iran. The concentration of Saudi Arabia's Shiite population close to the country's crucial oil-producing regions, where any revolt would cause maximum damage to the Saudi economy, has only added to the anxiety felt at times by the ruling family.
In December 2008 the Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak, seemed to capture the mood of the Arab world when he addressed members of his ruling National Democratic Party. "The Persians are trying to devour the Arab states," he said.
Having watched the former US president George Bush and his successor, Barack Obama, fail to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions, the Saudi Foreign Minister, Saud Al Faisal, summed up his nation's fears at a joint press conference with Mrs Clinton.
"Iran, if it continues on the line that is continuing, will provide the impetus for further proliferation and, God forbid, see the region full of atomic weapons," Prince Saud said.
Iran's rejection, Prince Saud added, of a United Nations-brokered deal to supply it with enough enriched uranium to generate electricity but not to develop nuclear weapons posed a direct threat to regional stability.
"So this is a threat that we do not want to even conceive, let alone do something about it. We think that the United Nations Security Council and the permanent members have a specific and special responsibility in this matter." Endorsing sanctions against Iran as one long-term solution, Prince Saud countenanced stronger action in the short term.
"We see the issue in the shorter term, maybe because we are closer to the threats than that," he said. "So we need immediate resolutions rather than gradual resolution to this regard."
The US is pushing Saudi Arabia to guarantee China's supply of oil in return for Beijing's support at the UN for crippling sanctions against Iran.
With Iran's main nuclear facility near the Persian Gulf, far away from Tehran, neighbouring countries have also voiced concerns about the potential for a catastrophic environmental disaster.
As far back as 2006, Kuwaiti's Foreign Minister, Mohammed al-Sabah, said that "we in Kuwait are worried. We are not worried that the Iranians may use atomic technologies to make nuclear technologies. It is the risk of a nuclear catastrophe in the region that worries us. Its consequences to the environment will be appalling.
"The Gulf is our only source of water. A nuclear catastrophe in the Persian Gulf will leave us without drinking water."
Successive meetings of the Gulf Co-operation Council, which consists of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates, have pressured Iran not to start a nuclear arms race around the Gulf.
"The Iranian nuclear program does not have any justification" the GCC's secretary, Abdul Rahman al-Attiyah, told a meeting in November 2005. "We call on the international community to make the Middle East a zone free of weapons of mass destruction."
The chairman of the Israeli parliament's Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee, Tzachi Hanegbi, told the Herald this week that Iran was "the world's problem, not just Israel's problem". Fresh from briefings in Washington, including a meeting with Mrs Clinton's special adviser on the Persian Gulf, Dennis Ross, Mr Hanegbi said US officials were unambiguous about who the key Arab states believed posed the biggest threat to them.
"Who is really worried about Iran? It's their immediate neighbours," Mr Hanegbi said. "They are terrified. The Arab world does not want confrontation. No one wants a new war in the Middle East. Stability is very important." What the majority of Arab states want above all, said Mr Hanegbi, was to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
As the US this week announced the restoration of diplomatic relations with Syria, Iran's most prominent international backer, Mr Hanegbi acknowledged that the pursuit of a formal peace between Syria and Israel was one way of ending the alliance of convenience between Damascus and Tehran.
"I believe the talks we are trying to initiate with Syria are sincere," he said. "I also believe that it is in Syria's best interests to make peace with Israel."
By encouraging Israel to give back to Syria the Golan Heights, occupied by Israel since the 1967 Six-Day War, the US believes that Syria's enmity towards Israel would be removed.
Yet despite the hostility felt towards it in the region, Iran is not without friends apart from Syria. The Qatari Prime Minister, Hamad bin Jassim al Thani, was evasive this week on the question of whether tougher sanctions were needed and advised the West that countries such as Iran should be courted to foster peace and security in the region.
Turkey is also seeking to assert itself as a mediator. During a visit to Iran this week, which included a meeting with Iran's President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Turkish Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, encouraged Iran to accept offers from Turkey to enrich uranium on its behalf and thus avoid a punishing sanctions regime.
Turkey has offered to provide a location for the exchange of Iranian uranium in return for uranium that Iran could use to power electricity stations.
What countries such as Turkey and Qatar appear to be following is a more balanced approach to the policy of engagement with Iran advanced by Mr Obama in his address to the Muslim world in Cairo last June.
"Rather than remain trapped in the past, I've made it clear to Iran's leaders and people that my country is prepared to move forward," the US President said.
"There will be many issues to discuss between our two countries and we are willing to move forward without preconditions on the basis of mutual respect."
According to Rami Khouri, the director of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut, the "US could actually try talking to Iran and following its own policy of engagement".
"In his speech in Cairo last year, Obama talked about real engagement with Iran. Yet he hasn't actually pursued this policy," Mr Khouri told the Herald this week. In his view, the same option applies across the region.
"There is no reason why the Arab states cannot sit down and negotiate with Iran. This has worked in other comparable situations in the past. Earnest negotiations between countries can produce results," he said.