Commentary Magazine


RE: UAE Ambassador: The Benefits of Attacking Iran Outweigh the Risks

Jeffrey Goldberg provides the full remarks:

I asked him, Do you want the U.S. to stop the Iranian nuclear program by force?

And he answered: “Absolutely, absolutely. I think we are at risk of an Iranian nuclear program far more than you are at risk. At 7,000 miles away, and with two oceans bordering you, an Iranian nuclear threat does not threaten the  continental United States. It may threaten your assets in the region, it will threaten the peace process, it will threaten balance of power, it will threaten everything else, but it will not threaten you.”

He went on to say, “I am suggesting that I think out of every country in the region, the U.A.E. is most vulnerable to Iran. Our military, who has existed for the past 40 years, wake up, dream, breathe, eat, sleep the Iranian threat. It’s the only conventional military threat our military plans for, trains for, equips for, that’s it, there’s no other threat, there’s no country in the region that is a threat to the U.A.E., it’s only Iran. So yes, it’s very much in our interest that Iran does not gain nuclear technology.”

It is not an attack on Iran that the moderate Arab states fear the most; it is American reticence and a nuclear-armed Iran. The Obama team has dawdled and evaded the most pressing national-security issue of our time: is the U.S. willing to use military force to prevent the emergence of a new nuclear threat to the West? Eighteen months into his presidency, it is not clear that Obama is. That the UAE ambassador should have a more robust and reasoned position than the U.S. president is one more sign of how dismal a job this president has done on the most important issue he faces.