The prime minister and vice president of the United Arab Emirates on Monday said
during an interview with CNN there was little chance of Iran building a nuclear
bomb and hinted that Tehran would find little use for the weapon.
can Iran do with a nuclear weapon?” Sheikh Muhammad bin Rashid al-Maktoum asked
during the interview on CNN’s Erin Burnett OutFront
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“For example, will
they hit Israel? How many Palestinians will die? And you think if Iran hits
Israel, their cities will be safe? They will be gone the next day.”
US and Israel have not ruled out military action against Iran’s nuclear
facilities if diplomacy fails to resolve a dispute over a program they suspect
is aimed at developing atomic weapons. Iran denies it is seeking nuclear weapons
and says it would respond to any strike by attacking Israel and US interests in
“Iran is our neighbor,” Maktoum added during the interview.
“They are Muslim, and we lived next to each other for thousands and thousands of
years. I don’t believe that Iran will develop a nuclear
Maktoum’s comments came as a senior US official on Monday said
the situation over Iran’s nuclear program was becoming increasingly worrying and
an urgent diplomatic solution needs to be found.
“Iran is violating
international obligations and norms. It is becoming a pariah state,” Robert
Einhorn, the US State Department senior adviser for non-proliferation and arms
control, told a news conference in the South Korean capital.
situation in Iran has become more and more worrisome. The timeline for its
nuclear program is beginning to get shorter, so it is important we take these
strong steps on an urgent basis,” he added.
“If we do not, pressures will
grow for much stronger actions. The US favors a diplomatic solution, but if we
cannot achieve a diplomatic solution soon, inevitably interests will grow in a
different kind of solution. That is why we need to act soon,” Einhorn
Iran’s nuclear ambitions, its claim to have shot down a US spy
drone in its airspace on Sunday and last week’s storming of the British Embassy
in Tehran by protesters has contributed to a sharp increase in tensions in the
Meanwhile, Australia slapped fresh sanctions on Iran over its
nuclear program that restrict dealing with the Islamic Republic’s petroleum and
financial sectors, AFP reported Tuesday. The country joined the US, Canada and
the UK in widening sanctions against Iran as the European Union mulls the
possibility of an oil embargo.
According to Australian Foreign Minister
Kevin Rudd, Canberra has grown increasingly concerned about Iran’s nuclear
He called on Tehran to follow the United Nations and the
International Atomic Energy Agency and engage the “international community on
its nuclear program,” AFP quoted Rudd as saying.
A senior US official on
Monday said the situation over Iran’s nuclear program was becoming increasingly
worrying and an urgent diplomatic solution needs to be found.