Gulf states seek Israeli 'umbrella'

Kuwaiti adviser says Persian Gulf nations depending on Israel to take out Iranian nuclear facilities.

iran nuclear new 224.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
iran nuclear new 224.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
Persian Gulf nations believe Israel will strike at Iran's nuclear facilities rather than allow Teheran to develop nuclear weapons capabilities, Reuters quoted a senior Kuwaiti adviser as saying Tuesday. Sami Alfaraj, president of the Kuwait Centre for Strategic Studies, went on to say that if Iran did acquire a nuclear bomb, Gulf states would appeal to Israel, as well as to the United States and Pakistan, to help ensure their security. Alfaraj, who acts as adviser to both the GCC secretary general and Kuwait's prime minister, foreign ministry and National Security Bureau, said a nuclear Iran would drag nations from far beyond the Persian Gulf into an arms race. He added that countries who could not build their own nuclear weapons would seek a "nuclear umbrella" - even if they had to appeal to Israel. "I believe in something on the same Iraqi [Osirak reactor] model... We are assuming in the Gulf that Israel will take it out," Alfaraj told Reuters. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said on a visit to Germany that "no option is ruled out" in countering the nuclear threat from Teheran. Meanwhile, Simon Henderson of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy said Iran could build clandestine atomic weapons as Pakistan did. Pakistan joined the roster of nuclear nations in 1998. "The great danger is they will get to a point and surprise us; we'll wake up one morning and there's an announcement that there's been an Iranian nuclear test," Henderson said.