UAE Diplomat to USA c/w British Diplomat to Iran

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    8th July 2010

    COMPARE AND CONTRAST



    U.A.E. ambassador to USA, Yousef al-Otaiba: “If you are asking me, ‘Am I willing to live with that (“BOMBING IRAN’S NUCLEAR PROGRAMME”) 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 U.A.E.”

    Sir Richard Dalton, British ambassador to Iran, 2003 to 2006: “I also felt, at the time of Mr Blair’s testimony to you, that he was seeking to cast a retrospectively benign light on a series of very bad decisions taken about the legality of the attack on Iraq by saying it was not only right to do it, but that we might have to do it again. […] Iran, moreover, didn’t seek new territory, it didn’t seek to dominate its neighbours, its military dispositions were primarily defensive.”



    Yesterday two former British ambassadors to Iran gave evidence at the Iraq Inquiry. It seems that one of these former ambassadors has gone native. Well, that’s a polite way of putting it.

    On the same day the United Arab Emirates ambassador to the USA said that “the benefits of bombing Iran’s nuclear program outweigh the short-term costs such an attack would impose.”

    Shocked? surprised? And so you should be.  Here in Britain we are doing moral somersaults in order to find our former Prime Minister Tony Blair sad, mad, or bad; probably all three. While in the United Arab Emirates they THINK about the issues around worldwide peace and stability.

    Unless this UAE ambassador is hurriedly withdrawn from the USA, we can take it that this is also the attitude of the UAE government.

    Unless this former British ambassador concedes that his remarks about “bad decisions” over Iraq betray, inform and weaken the value of his “evidence” to the Inquiry, his and others’ real opinions AND intentions should be discounted as just that – OPINION and INTENTION. Those who understand the bigger picture should ignore such bias in a fact-finding, not opinion-hearing Inquiry.

    More from the diplomat who is on the side of the west and a nuclear-free Iran:

    In unusually blunt remarks, Ambassador Yousef al-Otaiba publicly endorsed the use of the military option for countering Iran’s nuclear program, if sanctions fail to stop the country’s quest for nuclear weapons.

    “I think it’s a cost-benefit analysis,” Mr. al-Otaiba said. “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 U.A.E.”

    Mr. al-Otaiba made his comments in response to a question after a public interview session with the Atlantic magazine at the Aspen Ideas Festival here. They echo those of some Arab diplomats who have said similar things in private to their American counterparts but never this bluntly in public.

    More here on the UAE ambassador’s words. A denial has been issued here. But of course.

    On the other side of the Iran Good or Bad argument – at the Iraq Inquiry yesterday we had this:

    Sir Richard Dalton was asked by Sir Lawrence Freedman: “Can I just ask a final question to you, Sir Richard? After we had Tony Blair giving evidence here, you were quoted in the Daily Telegraph [Ed: See Telegraph 30 Jan] to the effect that he had been misreading Iran. Now, part of this was, looking back at it, about action that might be taken in the future against Iran because of its nuclear programme. But I would just like your view as to whether you felt he was misreading Iran in terms of the role that Iran played in the development of instability within Iraq, and whether this is retrospective or whether you were concerned at the time that he was misreading the role of Iran.”

    SIR RICHARD DALTON: “I think I have already answered that question at different points in my evidence so far, to recall what I think I said, I did believe at the time, particularly in 2003, that there was a misreading of Iran as inevitably hostile to the success of the coalition mission to replace Saddam with an Iraqi regime that would be democratic.

    Secondly, I felt that, at the time that the — legitimate criticism and justified criticism of Iran was sometimes used with too broad a brush; in other words, much more of the coalition difficulties were attributed to Iran than was the case, and I pointed out, for example, in some of my reporting that — reporting that it would be very helpful if we could have more chapter and verse. If we were so sure of our case, then why weren’t we showing captured Iranians or more evidence of Iranian material or more intercepts of Iranian funds, given the sources at our disposal to counter subversion generally? There were several occasions on which we did present evidence of shoulder-launched missiles or IED technology that we felt originated in Iran and sought explanations, but those opportunities that we had weren’t, I thought at the time, commensurate with the scale of our outrage at what Iran was doing.

    I also felt, at the time of Mr Blair’s testimony to you, that he was seeking to cast a retrospectively benign light on a series of very bad decisions taken about the legality of the attack on Iraq by saying it was not only right to do it, but that we might have to do it again — we, the UK, might have to do it again — and I felt strongly then, and I do now, that a military adventure against Iran pre-emptively, supposedly against its nuclear programmes would be illegal in the absence of an imminent and real threat to any country from Iran and that no such nuclear threat exists at the present, and that it was not a sufficient answer to the doubts about the way in which the decisions in 2003 had been taken to simply say that it is a dangerous world, other countries are dangerous and an action might be conceivable in future against those countries.”

    In Dalton’s “gone-native” way, some might say “brainwashed”, he fails to point out ulterior motives behind Iran’s wish for a “stable Iraq”.  Is he embarrassed to have been so easily taken in and is casting around for the usual whipping boy to blame for his own failure? Dalton also fails to point up, as of any real relevance, that other countries neighbouring Iran have long had deep concerns over Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

    Makes you proud to be so high-horse-ridingly, ‘liberally’ British, doesn’t it? Well, doesn’t it?

    On the same day that we announced a retreat from Sangin – yes, imho it’s a cost-cutting retreat, even moreso than was Basra where at least the locals had been trained to take over, we have this disgraceful nonsense.

    But wait, wait – there’s more. Dalton opines forth with even more undistilled, embarrassingly simplistic and politically naive rot:

    SIR RICHARD DALTON: “Yes, there is no single answer to the question of the degree of threat posed by Iran. First, as I see it, a military threat is a combination of capability with intent and, at the time we begin the story, I didn’t consider either Iraq or Iran a direct threat in that sense to UK security. In the region, of course, Iraq was a threat, owing to the likelihood of it having weapons of mass destruction, as we saw it, and it was more of a threat in that respect in 2002/2003 than Iran was, given Iraq’s history of aggression and the propensities of the regime.

    Iran, moreover, didn’t seek new territory, it didn’t seek to dominate its neighbours, its military dispositions were primarily defensive. Moreover, there was a balance in the region, inherited from the unsatisfactory end of the Iran/Iraq war and, of course, that balance was removed by the invasion of Iraq to the benefit of Iran.

    Clearly, there was a long-range risk from Iran in the nature of its covert weapons programme that it might have, which was starting to be unravelled after the revelations about its secret enrichment work in 2002 and that, of course, might bear fruit in the future. Its extensive nuclear R&D industry was clearly a potential threat, but it wasn’t a threat in 2003 that was any way close in time.

    On the Middle East peace process and terrorism, where Iranian activity was malign, clearly there was a significant threat to Israel and, probably, in the sense of actual disturbance of the peace, more from Iran than from Iraq, owing to its policy of having a forward defence against the possibility that Israel and the United States might seek to attack it and hence its support for resistance, as it called it, in Palestine, and its involvement in Lebanon.”

    DIPLOMACY TODAY

    So despite Dalton’s not seeing Iran as a threat – that’s THIS Iran, where they do this (execute children) and this (hanging gays, even if they are underage) and this (1 million child brides) and this (kill shopkeepers) and this (prescribing haircuts & issuing a fatwa against keeping “unclean” dogs) and this (stoning to death) – Dalton DID see Iraq as a threat. Though not that much of one. And, of course, Iran was only in the business of self-defence, worried that the nasty USA or even nastier Israel, or both, would attack it! Probably still is, DreamaLotDalton.Thus it financially backs Islamic Jihadist Hamas and Hezbollah! Insurance, you know.

    I have some questions, in all seriousness:

    • Is it a requirement of diplomacy in today’s upside-down world that they there may come a time when diplomats are expected to discount the fact that diplomacy has worldwide concerns as well as bipartisan matters of interest?
    • Are they not expected to represent OUR country, its government and its views?
    • Do they NEED to be stupid, or will treachery suffice?

    Worry not, Sir Richard. Iran still has ONE friend.

    Zimbabwe's Mugabe & Iran's Ahmadinejad. New best friends.

    Increasingly isolated, Iran looks toward Africa, By Reza Taghizadeh

    Excerpt: “Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad (right) with his Zimbabwean counterpart Robert Mugabe — Tehran’s last allies?

    Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad’s current visit to Nigeria and Mali is yet another attempt to forge new alliances with African states in the hope that this can offset his country’s growing isolation. Attending the July 4-8 Developing Eight (D8) summit in Abuja, Ahmadinejad is trying to rally support for his show of resistance against growing U.S.-led international pressure.”

    As it happens there is another politician working in Africa too. See Africa Governance Initiative. The guys above have competition for promoting “governance”. I wonder whose side Dalton is on.

    BLAIR – CHALLENGING THE GIVENS

    In this hour-long video of Tony Blair addressing the Institute For Government at the end of May, you will hear echoes of the present government and its “empowering not controlling state”. Well of course.  Blair’s phrase – “challenge the givens” (advocating perpetual change)  – is a phrase he should use more often.  Perhaps he does. The press and plenty of others have a liking for challenging the given too, and ignoring the disagreable. It’s a given that they agree with challenges which aid their givens.

    Further information

    OTHERS’ THOUGHTS ON DALTON

    Fox Excerpt:

    The United Arab Emirates ambassador to the United States said Tuesday that the benefits of bombing Iran’s nuclear program outweigh the short-term costs such an attack would impose.

    In unusually blunt remarks, Ambassador Yousef al-Otaiba publicly endorsed the use of the military option for countering Iran’s nuclear program, if sanctions fail to stop the country’s quest for nuclear weapons.

    “I think it’s a cost-benefit analysis,” al-Otaiba said. “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 U.A.E.”


    RELATED

    1. IRAQ INQUIRY

    _____

    2. LONDON 7/7 BOMBINGS

    Britain marks 7/7 –  WITHOUT the Prime Minister or his Siamese twin (Cleggalong.) Excerpt:

    ‘Cameron told lawmakers Tuesday that “every day, intelligence officers track terrorist threats and disrupt plots.”

    Tony Blair, prime minister at the time of the London bombings, said in a statement Wednesday that while the four suicide bombers had succeeded in striking London, “in truth, the terrorists failed.”

    “Britain resolved, even more surely, to defeat the extremism and intolerance which drove the attackers and stand up for the values of freedom, democracy and the rule of law which as a nation we cherish,” Blair said.

    Families of some of the victims of the 2005 attacks said Wednesday they were saddened by a decision not to hold an official remembrance ceremony.

    Graham Foulkes, whose 22-year-old son David was killed in the Edgware Road bombing, said the fifth anniversary was significant and the absence of the prime minister or London Mayor Boris Johnson at the ceremony was disappointing.

    Britain’s government said other relatives had asked the government to step back this year to allow a more private ceremony to take place.’

    That’s a good one, Mr Cameron. Blame the relatives. We’re all in this together, are we not?

    _____

    3. IRAN

    The time to act against Iran is fast approaching

    ETCETERA


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