Israeli 5-Point Plan for Iran: " 1. Bring Iran before the UN security council to pursue a third sanctions resolution; 2. Covert measures: Dagan and the under-secretary agreed not to discuss this approach in the larger group setting"; 3. Counter-proliferation: prevent know-how and technology from making their way to Iran; 4. Sanctions - the biggest success so far. Three Iranian banks were on the verge of collapse. Financial sanctions were having a nationwide impact. 5. Regime change. Israel believed more should be done to foment this, possibly with the support of student democracy movements and ethnic groups such as the Azeris, Kurds and Baluchs."
Payvand (originally published by http://www.juancole.com)
What is truly alarming about the new batch of Wikileaks diplomatic files is the extent to which US politicians and their Israeli allies are obsessed with Iran. There is virtually no talk of Israeli colonial settlements on the West Bank, the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, the war crimes in Gaza, the attack on the aid flotilla, and Israel’s arsenal of hundreds of nuclear weapons, but there is constant preoccupation with Iran’s uranium enrichment and whether Israel or the United States should attack Iran first.
The media has dwelt almost exclusively on the remarks of the Saudi King Abdullah’s ambassador in Washington, calling on America to “cut off the head of this snake”. There are quotes from the rulers of other Western friends in the Middle East, Kuwait, Bahrain, UAE and Jordan, repeating what American officials wanted to hear, namely that Iran’s nuclear ambitions pose an “existential threat” to them…
By latching on to the alleged remarks of these autocratic rulers, Western media has tried to convey the idea that Iran does not only pose an “existential threat” to Israel, but to all those other friends of the West as well.
However, the Arab rulers’ nightmare is that while they hate Iran for obvious reasons, most of their subjects look up to Iran as the only country in the region that is championing the Palestinian cause and is standing up to Israel and the West. According to the most recent poll, carried out by the US Zogby polling organisation and the University of Maryland, in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and other pro-western Arab states, a majority of the respondents even had a positive view of the possibility of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons. Asked which countries threatened their security, 88% replied Israel, 77% the US and just 10% Iran.1 It is not that US diplomats don’t understand these facts, they have just lost all sight of reality, democratic principles and America’s long-term interests. The experiences of supporting Saddam Hussein, General Musharraf and other dictators should have proved to them that relying on undemocratic rulers would backfire, not to say that it is contrary to the democratic principles that they claim that they are championing.
In view of the fact that the United States is arming its “allies” with billions of dollars worth of the most sophisticated weapons, its protestations about Iran’s military threat sounds hollow. According to The Financial Times, the US plans to reinforce Arab military power by selling an unprecedented amount of USD 123 billion to four Persian Gulf littoral states. Saudi Arabia’s share stands at nearly $67 billion, the UAE at $40 billion, Oman at $12 billion and Kuwait at $7 billion, according to the business daily.
This is despite the fact that those countries and Israel already spend a much larger part of their GDP on arms. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute(SIPRI), while Iran’s military spending in 2009 was $9.174 billion (or 2.7% of its GDP), that of Saudi Arabia was $39.257 billion (8.2% of its GDP), that of the tiny United Arab Emirates was $13.5 billion (or 5.9% of its GDP), and that of Israel was $14.34 billion (7% of its GDP). And whereas Iran’s military spending as a share of its GDP is 2.7% (9.174 billion: 340 billion), that of the United States is nearly 7% (1 trillion: 14 trillion). In other words, Iran’s military spending is less than one per cent of the United States’ spending.
Nevertheless, the US and Israel have the temerity to portray Iran as the main threat to the Middle East and the main obstacle to the “peace process”. There is a wonderful moment in the cables when the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, explains to a US congressional delegation on 28 April last year that “a Palestinian state must be demilitarised, without control of its airspace and electro-magnetic field [sic], and without the power to enter into treaties or control its border”. Well, what then does the Obama Administration mean by a two-state solution and the establishment of a viable Palestinian state? What is the point of the “peace process” for which the United States is willing to make so many concessions to Israel?
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