Proliferation Press

A webpage devoted to tracking and analyzing current events related to the proliferation of WMD/CBRN.

Gulf Nations Offer Iran A Sweetheart Deal, But US Options Remain Grim

Posted by K.E. White on November 1, 2007

Six Gulf nations—Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates—have proposed supplying Iran with uranium. This proposal, very similar to an earlier, rejected Russian offer, could end Western worries over Iran’s nuclear program.

But will Iran accept the deal?

From BBC News:

Gulf states are willing to set up a body to provide enriched uranium to Iran, Saudi Arabia‘s foreign minister is reported to have said.

Prince Saud al-Faisal told the Middle East Economic Digest (MEED) the plan could defuse Tehran’s stand-off with the West over its nuclear programme.

The prince was quoted as saying that Iran was considering the Gulf states’ offer, but the US was not involved.

The BBC’s Paul Reynolds says it is doubtful the plan will go anywhere.

Such a deal would fall in line with other Gulf nations aspirations for nuclear energy. From AFP:

Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Libya and Yemen as well as the six GCC states have all said that they want to pursue peaceful nuclear projects.

Faisal told MEED he believed the new plant “should be in a neutral country — Switzerland, for instance.”

“Any plant in the Middle East that needs enriched uranium would get its quota. I don’t think other Arab states would refuse. In fact, since the decision of the GCC to enter into this industry, the other Arab countries have expressed a desire to be part of the proposal.”

Mil Arcega illustrates the policy conundrum American officials face in dealing with Iran, regardless of whether or not they agree with the White House’s current saber-rattling approach:

Some Republicans say the tough talk is necessary. But Republican Congressman Christopher Shays says economic sanctions against Iran’s military and its banking institutions need to be tempered by open dialogue. “It is time for us to start talking with Iran, diplomat to diplomat, politician to politician, and person to person.”

The White House says it has exhausted diplomatic efforts and last week imposed sweeping economic sanctions — targeting Iran’s banking institutions and the country’s elite military branch. The sanctions are meant to hamper Iran’s ability to conduct business internationally and reduce the influence of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, which U.S. officials accuse of providing weapons to Iraqi militants.

But Karim Sadjapour, a Middle East expert with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, says U.S. actions could backfire unless the U.S. can convince Iranians that abandoning its nuclear program will bring peace and stability to the region. “Increasingly, Iranians look next door and they say if the choice is between what we see in Iraq — democracy and carnage — and what we have now, which is authoritarianism and security, we will choose the latter.”

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3 Responses to “Gulf Nations Offer Iran A Sweetheart Deal, But US Options Remain Grim”

  1. Arab said

    This is a sweet deal.

    If Iran regime really after peace, they should accept it.

  2. Chat said

    Iranian government should thank the Arab states for this sweet offer.

  3. Edwardvegas said

    Iran has a terrorist President. He kidnapped
    Americans for 444 days.Those people are alive today and pointing their finger at him as the interrogator.Islamic fundamentalists including Bin Laden are working with him to close the straight of hormuz and wreck the global economy.Iran wants to be sent back to the 12th century in 30 seconds.That can be arranged.

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