Sunday, May 07, 2006

Saudi and Gulf Arab leaders line up with Moscow and Beijing against sanctions for Iran as situation continues to heat up

The Gulf Cooperation Council- GCC met in an urgent session in Riyadh yesterday, and added its two cents to the Iran nukes controversy.

Usually these are low key affairs but this time the emirs of Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and the UAE were there, as well as our `friend' King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.

They all joined in calling on Iran to `do more' to show the nuclear watchdog it was not seeking a nuclear bomb and provide guarantees that its nuclear program is solely for peaceful purposes. The six leaders didn't mention asking Iran to halt uranium enrichment or obey the UN Security Council.

In other words, the GCC essentially linked up against the West and the US in not following the tough American-led line demanding a UN Security Council Section 7 resolution permitting sanctions or military action against Iran, and in favor of the Russian-Chinese position. The Saudis appear to have been the main force in uniting the GCC's position against the EU and the US.

Yes, Mr. President, that would be our `eternal friends' the Saudis.

For Iran's part, the Mullahs continue to turn up the heat. Today, Iran's majlis (parliament) threatened to pass legislation that would force Iran to withdraw from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. of course, since Iran is by no means a democracy, this comes staright from the Supreme Council of Guardians and Khamanei.

Iran's president Ahmadinejad said, "If a signature on an international treaty causes the rights of a nation be violated, that nation will reconsider its decision and that treaty will be invalid," he told the state news agency.

He called threats of sanctions "meaningless" and vowed to "smash their (U.S.-backed) illegitimate resolutions against a wall."

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said any U.N. resolution would be "completely illegal" and driven by politics.

"It's clear that any action by the U.N. Security Council will leave a negative impact on our cooperation with the IAEA," he said, adding that such action would "change the path of cooperation to confrontation."

Iran also said `no sale' to a proposal of direct talks with the US floated by the UN's Kofi Annan. No surpises there!

All that to the side, as I've said, look for a `Munich Moment' that deflates this confrontation, allows `peace in our time' and gives the Mullahs more time to build up their military and the their nuclear arsenal. I hope I'm wrong, but so far, Iran seems to be following Hitler's playbook to the letter.

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