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Friday, December 05, 2008

The Popular Plan : 1934 redux -Gulf states weigh appeasing Iran with security pact as U.S. withdraws

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ABU DHABI -- The Persian Gulf states are examining the feasibility of a security agreement with Iran in an effort to reduce regional tension.
The Iranians have been offering this

Gulf Cooperation Council sources said several countries, including Saudi Arabia, have dropped their objection to a strategic accord with Teheran meant to end the arms race and begin security cooperation.

The sources said GCC states have become concerned over the withdrawal of the United States from the region as well as the steady decline in crude oil prices, the source of major weapons programs.

"In the current scenario, we call for working out a mechanism for drafting a security pact that would help the region avert a conflict or arms race that has the potential to spill over into the entire region, thus endangering the ongoing development march of the GCC states," Saudi Prince Talal Bin Abdul Aziz, a senior member of the royal family, said.

In a statement, Talal, president of the Arab Gulf Programme for United Nations Development Organisations, said the GCC agreement would focus on non-aggression as well as cooperation in all fields. The Saudi prince said the GCC must pledge that members would prevent any attack against Iran.

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"First, a provision that makes it binding on all GCC states never to allow their land or water territories, and air spaces to be used for any aggression against Iran," Talal said.

The statement said Iran's nuclear program has alarmed GCC states. But Talal did not go beyond the call that Teheran must submit to United Nations Security Council resolutions to end uranium enrichment.

"The Gulf region should be free from a catastrophic conflict and arms race at the expense of huge prospects for development and progress," Talal said. "Second, regional and international guarantees must be in place to restrict use of nuclear energy only for peaceful purposes. There should also be a criterion for enrichment of uranium and guaranteeing observance of it under all circumstances."

GCC sources said Talal's call reflected that of Saudi Arabia and most member states. The sources said oil-rich Gulf Arab states were bracing for huge deficits in 2009 amid the sharp decline in prices.

"Nobody in the GCC wants an arms race that we cannot possibly win," a GCC diplomatic source said. "Iran gains a lot more from [regional] instability than we do."

Talal said Iran and the GCC states should be prepared to submit to international arms inspections. He said the two sides should also establish hotlines to defuse tension and emergencies.

"There should be guarantees and confidence-building measures between both sides under which they can agree to reliable international monitoring of their military arsenals," Talal said. "A mechanism for immediate joint consultancy in case of any security incident should also be in place."


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posted by Epaminondas at permanent link#

1 Comments:

Blogger Damien said...

Epaminondas,

Lets hope we don't repeat the mistakes to the past.

Friday, December 05, 2008 6:34:00 pm  

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