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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Emir of Qatar: US can't attack Iran from our territory

In an interview with the Financial Times of London, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, the Emir of Qatar, said that his country will not allow its territory to be used for an American attack on Iran.
FT: could we move on to geopolitics and perhaps just start with your speech at the United Nations where you were critical of the Americans and their position vis-à-vis the Middle East in general, and Iran in particular, and you were calling for a dialogue.

SH: Since 1979 (the Iranian revolution) I have lived here, and I know the crises that happened in the Gulf … with the war between Iran and Iraq (in the 1980s), with Iraq invading Kuwait (in 1990) and with America invading Iraq (in 2003).

The question now is that we want to see peace in our region but how will this peace come?

It will not come as the superpower thinks, because sometimes it makes the wrong decision.

As a neighbour to Iran, and we have lived with Iranians for a long time together, we believe that the best thing is dialogue. The Americans should speak with Iran. The Iranians are all the time mentioning that their nuclear (programme) is there for peaceful purposes. What is the role of the United Nations, the Security Council? They should go and check this.

Plus you have the Israelis who have the most dangerous weapons, the nuclear weapons. I really wish to see no more nuclear weapons in our region. We need to see peace.

FT: But US President Barack Obama tried to engage with Iran but it was not responsive.

SH: But that doesn’t mean he can’t try again. And some other countries who have good links with Iran why are they not talking to the Iranians and the Americans?

FT: The international policy of sanctions against Iran appears to be working – UN sanctions, and US and European unilateral sanctions. What is Qatar’s position on sanctions and do you abide by UN as well as unilateral sanctions?

SH: I think all these sanctions will not help. You remember what happened to Cuba: Cuba was under sanctions for 50 or 60 years, and in spite of this Cuba had the best education and the best health services in the whole of Latin America. Iran is a big and great country, surrounded with many countries. Somebody thinks sanctions will affect Iran. OK, it will affect it in some (way) but the question is do we want Iran to cooperate with the world and with world regulations or do we want to push Iran into a corner?

FT: As a neighbour to Iran you either implement the sanctions or you isolate Tehran more; What are your instructions to Qatari banks, to Qatari business, is it to stop dealing with Iran or is it to keep business lines open in order not to isolate Iran?

SH: I can’t tell you. Iran is so close to us. I hope no sanctions come near Iran. I hope the Iranians live like the others.

FT: But what are you telling your banks, what are you telling your business people?

SH: We are free in our country to implement the kind of decisions that we see fit and that go along with our interests. We want and we seek dialogue. We think dialogue is the best way to solve this and many other conflicts.

FT: What would Qatar do in the event of an Israeli attack against Iran’s nuclear facilities or an American attack, given that you host a US military base?

SH: We are against this.

FT: So the US would not be able to use their base in Qatar?

SH: No. According to the agreement between us and the United States, they have to ask us, and with Iran, we will not accept this. But of course, we have military ties with the British and with the French also, not only with America.

FT: Do you want the American base to remain in Qatar?

SH: As a small country, we have a good relation with the Americans, in terms of military ties, education, health, but as you know, politically, no, we don’t have that good a relationship. But we are happy with their presence.
Obama must love this guy. Like Obama, he would talk to Iran until he was blue in the face or Iran announced it has nuclear weapons, whichever comes first. I wonder if he would be this blase about Iran going nuclear if he believed the United States was going to do something about it and didn't have to hedge his bets.

But is he suggesting that the Israelis will use their (our) nuclear weapons to stop Iran? Hmmm.

P.S. This guy looks like he needs another doughnut, doesn't he?


At 3:52 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

I'm not surprised.

The Qataris don't think America would protect them from Iranian retaliation.

Therein lies the lesson for Israel's dhimmi Jewish leadership - if only it grasped it.

It shouldn't count on Obama to stop Iran.


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