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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Oh my: Saudis threaten to 'go it alone' against Iran

And you thought that only Israel would be 'crazy enough' to threaten to do something like this. 'Our friends the Saudis' are threatening to go it alone against Iran's nuclear weapons. And in a New York Times op-ed no less. The writer is Mohammed bin Nawaf bin Abdulaziz al Saud, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Britain.
And yet rather than challenging the Syrian and Iranian governments, some of our Western partners have refused to take much-needed action against them. The West has allowed one regime to survive and the other to continue its program for uranium enrichment, with all the consequent dangers of weaponization.
This year’s talks with Iran may dilute the West’s determination to deal with both governments. What price is “peace” though, when it is made with such regimes?
The foreign policy choices being made in some Western capitals risk the stability of the region and, potentially, the security of the whole Arab world. This means the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has no choice but to become more assertive in international affairs: more determined than ever to stand up for the genuine stability our region so desperately needs.
Saudi Arabia has enormous responsibilities within the region, as the cradle of Islam and one of the Arab world’s most significant political powers. We have global responsibilities — economic and political — as the world’s de facto central banker for energy. And we have a humanitarian responsibility to do what we can to end the suffering in Syria.
We will act to fulfill these responsibilities, with or without the support of our Western partners. Nothing is ruled out in our pursuit of sustainable peace and stability in the Arab World as King Abdullah — then Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince — showed with his leadership of the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The problem with the 'Saudi plan' is that it just restated the same old Arab position with the small change that they would commit not to annihilate Israel if it agreed to their conditions. The Arabs don't exactly have a great storehouse of trust in this country.

Of course, they could start creating one if they were willing to work with another small country in the region that would like to eliminate the scourge of Iranian nuclear weapons.

But what's really neat about this op-ed is that he takes direct aim at President Hussein Obama.
We expected to be standing shoulder to shoulder with our friends and partners who have previously talked so much about the importance of moral values in foreign policy. But this year, for all their talk of “red lines,” when it counted, our partners have seemed all too ready to concede our safety and risk our region’s stability.
Hmmm. Red lines. Chemical weapons. Sounds familiar, doesn't it?


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