WikiLeaks’ Awkward Reading for Iran


Bahrain’s King Hamad ibn Isa Al Khalifa didn’t mince his words in a November 2009 cable to Washington on what should be done about Iran's nuclear programme. According to a cable released by WikiLeaks, Hamad said:

‘That programme must be stopped. The danger of letting it go on is greater than the danger of stopping it.’

It’s a view echoed by Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Armed Forces Emirates Prince Mohammed bin Zayed. In a July 2009 memo to the US government, he described Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as ‘Hitler,’ and urged the United States not to ‘appease’ Iran.

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And there’s plenty more where that came from. Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia, asked the United States to strike Iran’s nuclear programme and to ‘cut off the head of the snake.’ Another memo showed Qatar had agreed to allow the United States to use a base on Qatari soil to bomb Iran.

These revelations are highly embarrassing for Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, underscoring as they do the intense level of hostility and mistrust Iran’s neighbours feel about its nuclear programme.

But what should particularly concern Iran's leadership is the statement from the Emir of Qatar. On numerous occasions, Iran's leaders have openly stated that they’d be willing to attack any neighbouring country that allows its territory to be used by foreign forces to stage an attack against Iran. By telling the United States that he’s willing to allow his territory to be used as a launch pad for a strike, the Emir of Qatar is effectively saying that he’s so concerned about the prospects of a nuclear-armed Iran that he’s prepared to risk massive Iranian retaliation against his country to stop it from happening.

What’s particularly interesting about the WikiLeaks revelations, though, isn’t so much the enthusiasm that countries like Saudi Arabia demonstrated over a US-led attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, but that they wanted the United States to decapitate the entire leadership of the regime. (Lebanon's Caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri is also revealed to have stated to US officials in 2006 that they should have invaded Iran instead of Iraq).

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