August 4, 2010

Not Just a Loose Cannon, but a Regional Threat

Justin Katz

Frida Ghitis highlights evidence that a nuclear Iran is a concern not just to the West and Israel:

[United Arab Emirates Ambassador Yousef al-]Otaiba, whose country lies less than 100 miles from Iran's coast, noted that Iran is much more of a threat to the UAE than to the United States. If countries "lack the assurance that the U.S. is willing to confront Iran, they will start running for cover towards Iran."

Otaiba subtly removed another line from the traditional script, the part that suggests Israel is also a threat. "There's no other threat," he declared, "There's no country in the region that is a threat to the UAE."

None of the players, in that neck of the woods, are pure, and the word games and subtexts proliferate, but in our debate about Iran as lunatic theocracy, we sometimes we lose track of the continued relevance of plain ol' geopolitical interactions.

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Let's keep in mind that the view of that countries autocrats is not the same as saying that's the view of people (who by the way increasingly support the idea of a nuclear armed Iran). al-Otaiba may not care that there will be anti-American/Israeli riots across the Arab world, but it would be a dangerous mistake for us to be as cavalier about it.

Posted by: Russ at August 5, 2010 10:46 AM
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