First Published: 2009-05-17

 
Arabs see Israel - not Iran - as nuclear threat
 

Arab League chief says Israel's nuclear bombs arsenal poses 'real danger' in troubled Middle East.

 

Middle East Online

'The vast majority of Arabs does not see Iran as the main issue'

SHUNEH, - Israel's nuclear bombs arsenal poses "the real danger" in the Middle East and not Iran's civilian nuclear programme, Arab League chief Amr Musa said on Sunday.

"The real danger as far as nuclear military programmes are concerned is posed by Israel and not Iran," Musa said during a panel discussion on the future of Middle East peacemaking at the World Economic Forum in Jordan.

"We don't see Iran as the main issue. The vast majority of Arabs does not see Iran as the main issue. Why should we engage with Iran and with Israel?"

"However, we don't need another nuclear programme in the Middle East," the Arab League chief said.

Jordanian Prime Minister Nader Dahabi, his Palestinian counterpart Salam Fayyad, Iraqi Vice President Adel Abdel Mahdi and Russian special envoy to the Middle East Alexander Sultanov took part in the discussion on the shores of the Dead Sea.

Iran says its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes, aimed at generating energy for its growing population, and that it has the right to technology already in the hands of many other nations.

Israel is the only country in the Middle Ease that actually has nuclear weapons, and refuses to submit to international inspections.

Observers say due the strong Jewish and pro-Israel lobbies in the US and some European countries, these countries have taken a hypocritical stance in relation to nuclear issues in the region.

IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei had previously suggested that nuclear weapons states bore some blame for other countries seeking such arms, because they are modernizing arsenals rather than scrapping them.

The US, France and Britain are three nuclear weapons states that have ratified the Nonproliferation Treaty.

"How can I go with a straight face to the non-nuclear-weapon states and tell them nuclear weapons are no good for you, while the weapon states continue to modernize and to say 'we absolutely need nuclear weapons,'" ElBaradei said.

 

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