(photo credit: Courtesy)
The United Arab Emirates ambassador to the United States said Tuesday that it would be difficult to co-exist with a nuclear Iran and that it would support any actions the US took to prevent such a possibility The Washington Times reported.
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Ambassador Yousef al-Otaiba reportedly endorsed the military option if sanctions do not stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
"I think it's a cost-benefit analysis," Otaiba said to an audience in Aspen, Colorado. "I think despite the large amount of trade we do with Iran, which is close to $12 billion … there will be consequences, there will be a backlash and there will be problems with people protesting and rioting and very unhappy that there is an outside force attacking a Muslim country; that is going to happen no matter what."
"If you are asking me, 'Am I willing to live with that versus living
with a nuclear Iran?,' my answer is still the same: 'We cannot live with
a nuclear Iran.' I am willing to absorb what takes place at the expense
of the security of the UAE," Otaiba reportedly said, in response to a
question after a public interview with the Atlantic magazine. His
remarks surprised many in the audience, The Washington Times reported.
John R. Bolton, former US ambassador to the United Nations, told The
Washington Times that Otaiba's comments reflect the views of many Arab
states that "recognize the threat posed by a nuclear Iran."
"They also know — and worry — that the Obama administration's policies
will not stop Iran," he told The Times. Arab leaders, Mr. Bolton said,
regard a pre-emptive strike as "the only alternative."
Otaiba "was thus only speaking the truth from his perspective," Mr.
Bolton reportedly said.