It's NOT just about Israel - Gulf states are resigned to a nuclear Iran
The U.S. intelligence community has determined that Saudi Arabia and its allies in the Gulf Cooperation Council are quietly accepting the prospect that Iran would acquire nuclear weapons.
Officials said the Persian Gulf states and other Arab League members would learn to accommodate Teheran's domination of the region.
"This assessment has been shared with Israel, which today is the only country in the Middle East that wants to stop the Iranian nuclear program," an official said.
Officials said the assessment has formed a major element in the strategy toward Iran by the administration of President Barack Obama. They said Israel would be the only country in the Middle East that would press the administration to pursue harsh international sanctions against Teheran in an effort to foil its nuclear weapons program.
"Most of the Arab countries are not happy with Iran but none of them wants to be seen as actively stopping its nuclear program," an official said. "Even the Saudis are not pressing Washington on this."
The administration has pledged to lobby for sanctions against Iran amid its refusal to stop uranium enrichment. But officials said the White House and State Department do not envision any decision by the United Nations regarding sanctions on Teheran until mid- to late 2010.
In his visit to Israel in March 2010, Vice President Joseph Biden cautioned Israel against expectations of an imminent sanctions regime on Iran. Officials said Biden, who discussed the issue with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, warned that UN sanctions against Teheran could fail.
"Biden's message was that the United States will do all it can, but Israel should not expect that the international community would fulfill its [Israel's] expectations," another official familiar with Biden's visit said. "There was an underlying message that Israel should learn to live with a nuclear Iran."