November 9, 2011
As speculation grows over Israeli or American plans to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities, questions are being raised over Arab support for a military strike. Last year’s WikiLeaks trove of US diplomatic cables showed unanimous support among Arab rulers for military action. Then as now, however, in public, those same rulers have remained tight-lipped.
The cables revealed an abiding mistrust across the region of Iranian ambitions. Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah urged Washington to “cut off the head of the snake,” and both he and then-Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak described the Islamic Republic as “evil” and untrustworthy.
An Iranian nuclear weapon, Mubarak warned, was liable to set off a region-wide arms race.
“Bomb Iran, or live with an Iranian bomb,” added Zeid Rifai, then president of the Jordanian senate. “Sanctions, carrots, incentives won’t matter.”
In the Persian Gulf, the rulers of Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates were all reportedly in favor of a strike.
So too was the king of Bahrain, where a Sunni elite rules over a large Shi’ite majority and which officials in Iran have described as the country’s “fifteenth province.”
This article was posted: Wednesday, November 9, 2011 at 4:17 am