Emirates call for end to occupation… Iran’s occupation

Posted: April 26, 2010 by Jonathan Boyko in Iran, Middle East

Nuclear Iran (courtesy:  AStreetJournalist.com) Recent reports quoted UAE Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan as saying Iran’s “occupation” of three islands between the neighbors has to end. He even compared between Israel’s occupation of the Golan Heights and the West Bank and one of Iran’s. Enraged Tehran replied by stating they hoped the Sheikh was “misquoted”. However, the all-vigilant al-Nahayan did not back down, taking on the Persians again, during visit to Palestinian Authority:

"The UAE’s position is one of hope that the Iranian side will end this dispute peacefully and calmly," Sheikh Abdullah told Reuters after his meeting with Abbas.

"We hope the Iranian side will look at this dispute and the occupation not only as an obstacle to improving relations between our two countries but also as an obstacle to Iran’s relations with Arab states. For the sake of everybody, we hope this issue will be resolved peacefully and as soon as possible."

Arab states broadly back the UAE claim to the islands, which lie close to shipping lanes used for oil and gas export.


THE UNITED ARAB Emirates certainly feel threatened by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s dangerous rhetoric and the possibility of him gaining nuclear power. Knowing full well of Ahmadinejad’s intentions to lead (read: control) the Arab world – and being one of closest neighbors – the UAE samples the shaky ground, looking for Mahmoud’s weak spots. At the moment, the UAE may allow itself to be brazen enough about Iran, and even gaining some recognition for its cause among moderate Arabs. Yet, UAE’s President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and PM Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum should have full understanding of the jeopardy their country may face one day. Thus, current efforts might bear fruit by rallying strong opposition to Iran; the UAE, however, might face harsher response from Ahmadinejad when latter reaches his goal.


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