Manama: Saudi Arabian Prince, Turki al-Faisal, appealed, ‘The real threat to the security of the Gulf countries is from Iran. Signing a nuclear deal with Iran will not solve the problems in this sector. Instead, a conflict will start in the Gulf sector because of the Iranian leadership. Therefore, the Gulf countries must be prepared for a nuclear-armed Iran.’ A few years ago, Prince Turki was the Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the United States. This appeal, coming from the Saudi Arabian royal family to the Gulf countries, when indirect talks for the nuclear deal are being held at Vienna between the United States and Iran, becomes significant.
Al Bilad Forum was organised in Manama, Bahrain’s capital. Nearly 60 political leaders, diplomats and delegates from other Gulf-Arab countries participated in the forum. During the discussion at this forum, the Saudi Arabian prince underlined the importance of the Gulf sector. Prince Turki said that the sector is essential for the international community for the military, economic and trade influence of the sector.
Prince Turki clarified, ‘But it cannot be guaranteed that the situation will remain the same in the coming times. Therefore, efforts should be made to eliminate the disputes and lacunas among us. This will enable us to face all the challenges posed. The Gulf countries should be ready even against a nuclear-armed Iran.’
Prince Turki reminded the Iranian threat while the United States and Iran are holding indirect talks to revive the nuclear deal. The Iranian threat to the Gulf countries is realistic. Therefore, the sector’s problems will not be resolved with the United States signing a nuclear deal with Iran. Prince Turki warned that a conflict would be sparked in the Gulf sector after the nuclear deal because of the Iranian leadership.
Saudi Arabia and the Arab countries are committed to keeping the Gulf sector free from mass destruction weapons. Prince Turki suggested that at the same time, the Gulf countries should remain prepared against nuclear-equipped Iran. Prince Turki added that the Iranian threat is not limited only to nuclear weapons. Whereas the Iranian missiles, increasing Iranian influence in the Arab-Gulf countries since the last four decades, and the Iranian efforts to destroy the social systems in the concerned countries using the terrorist organisations also are equally dangerous threats.
While discussing the threat from the Iranian nuclear weapons, the Iranian regime having a vice-like grip on the country cannot be ignored. Prince Turki said that the Gulf countries are exploring other options to maintain stability in the sector if Iran acquired nuclear capabilities. But Prince Turki avoided elaborating on the issue.
Although it was not mentioned, Prince Turki was seemingly pointing out the cooperation started by countries like the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain with Israel and Saudi Arabia and the UAE’s efforts for acquiring nuclear power.