Nuclear Iran is great threat for Arab countries: experts

Nuclear Program Materials 4 October 2009 09:00 (UTC +04:00)
The situation in which Iran refuses from demands of the U.S. and the West to cancel its nuclear program and can continue its development to build nuclear weapons, poses a major risk to the Arab countries, experts believe.
Nuclear Iran is great threat for Arab countries: experts

Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 3 / Trend , U.Sadikhova/

The situation in which Iran refuses from demands of the U.S. and the West to cancel its nuclear program and can continue its development to build nuclear weapons, poses a major risk to the Arab countries, experts believe.

"For several years, Arabs are concerned about this problem [Iran's nuclear program]. Although they have publicly stated they would not support the U.S. and Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear facilities, privately they would like to see it," the Director of the Research and Development Department of the Institute for Near East & Gulf Military Analysis (INEGMA), Theodore Karasik told Trend in a telephone conversation from Dubai.

The Egyptian Foreign Minister, Ahmed Aboul Gheit on Thursday at a news conference said that nuclear programs of Iran and Israel are a great threat for the Arab world, RIA Novosti reported.

The statement by Abu Gheit, whose country has called for the release of the Middle East from nuclear weapons, was made amid increasing differences between Iran and the United States and some Western countries over Tehran's nuclear program.

On Thursday, Geneva hosted a meeting between the European Union High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, Javier Solana and the Iranian Supreme Council for National Security Secretary General, Saeed Jalili, with the participation of political directors of the "Six" on Iran's nuclear program (Russia, the United States, Britain, France, China and Germany).

Following the negotiations, the parties agreed that the IAEA inspectors will visit the new uranium enrichment plant in the Iranian city if Qum in two weeks.

The United States and several European countries have offered to impose additional economic and energy sanctions on Iran in addition to the five UN Security Council resolutions on Iran's nuclear program.

Karasik connects concern of the Arab countries with the fact that if Iran commences the war in the region, the first blow is likely to fall to the American and Israeli interests, as well as the parties, participating in this scenario.

Therefore Karasik believes that the talk about the benefits of an attack on Iran has recently increased.

Saudi Arabia in August announced the construction of the first nuclear power plant, which, according to some analysts, is the first step aimed against Iran's nuclear program.

There are two main reasons why the Arab countries fear the escalation of disputes over Iran's nuclear program, believes Alirza Nurizade, head of the London-based Arab-Iranian Center for Strategic Studies.

First of all they believe that Iran is pursing the military nuclear program as well the civilian one. , believes Nurizade.

" British Political Scientist of Iranian origin, Nurizade said to Trend over a telephone.

The Arab countries' concern about the beginning of a new regional war increased, when Iran last Sunday test-fired long-range "Sijil" and "Shahab-3" missiles, capable of flying to Israel, said a number of regional analysts.

Second of all if Iran comes to some sort of compromise with Americans, the USA may give Iranians some sort of authority in the region, which will be against the arab interests, Nurizadeh says

On Thursday Washington hosted the first direct negotiations between the White House administration and Tehran since Iran's 1979 revolution. At the talks, Iran was presented by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Manouchehr Motakki.

A nuclear Iran has become a dilemma for the Arab Gulf states: on the one hand, they support the U.S. attack on Iran, if they are confident that this will put an end to Tehran's continued nuclear threat; on the other hand, the Americans couldn't finish their job and would leave Iran bleeding and this bleeding Iran will be dangerous for Arab countries, Nurizadeh believes.

"On the bottom of their heart, they might want to see Iran crashed by Americans and Israel," said Nurizade.

The Pro-Western Arab regimes also fear that Iran could connect to the fight of its Arab allies - the Lebanese Hezbollah political party and the Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas in the Gaza Strip - against the West.

Analysts do not rule out that the recent rapprochement of Saudi Arabia and Egypt with Syria, one of the main strategic partners of Iran, was intended to deprive Iran of support the regime in Damascus.

The military attack of Israel and the U.S. on Iran's nuclear facilities can be expensive to other countries in the Persian Gulf, bordering with Iran - Qatar, Emirates, Bahrain, Oman, said Nurizade.

The American military bases in the Persian Gulf, but not the United States, will be the main goal of the Iranian missiles during the attack, he added.

There is already a base of the American fleet in Manama, the capital of Bahrain.

But, on the other hand, Iran could use the armed allies Hezbollah and Hamas, analysts believe.

Arab countries accuse Iran of fueling the fighting between Shia rebels and the government of Yemen, as well as expansion of the conflict between Shiites and Sunnis in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Iran denies the charges.

Cairo also accuses Iran of undermining the Palestinian peace process between the Palestinian National Authority and Hamas, which runs through the Egyptian government.

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