UAE's Ambassador Endorses an American Strike on Iran (Cont'd)

By Jeffrey Goldberg

Here's a key exchange between Yousef al-Otaiba, and yours truly, at the Aspen Ideas Festival. I asked him, Do you want the U.S. to stop the Iranian nuclear program by force?

And he answered: "Absolutely, absolutely. I think we are at risk of an Iranian nuclear program far more than you are at risk. At 7,000 miles away, and with two oceans bordering you, an Iranian nuclear threat does not threaten the continental United States. It may threaten your assets in the region, it will threaten the peace process, it will threaten balance of power, it will threaten everything else, but it will not threaten you."

He went on to say, "I am suggesting that I think out of every country in the region, the U.A.E. is most vulnerable to Iran. Our military, who has existed for the past 40 years, wake up, dream, breathe, eat, sleep the Iranian threat. It's the only conventional military threat our military plans for, trains for, equips for, that's it, there's no other threat, there's no country in the region that is a threat to the U.A.E., it's only Iran. So yes, it's very much in our interest that Iran does not gain nuclear technology."

See also:


UAE Ambassador on the Challenge of Iran
Why the UAE's Position on Iran Is Not Particularly New

And reporting from Elizabeth Weingarten:

What Does the UAE Think About Iran and Israel?

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2010/07/uaes-ambassador-endorses-an-american-strike-on-iran-contd/59257/