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November 20, 2013 3:20 pm

Al Arabiya Chief: Obama Boosting Iran’s Confidence to Become Nuclear Country

avatar by Zach Pontz

Al Arabiya General Manager Abdul Rahman al-Rashed. Photo:

Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed,  the current director of Saudi-owned news outlet Al-Arabiya made highly critical remarks in a recent interview with Al-Sharq Al-Awsat about the United States’s handling of Iran’s nuclear program.

“The ideal solution is to insist on preventing Iran from building nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, however,  the involvement of U.S. President Barack Obama’s government in six months of negotiations boosts Iran’s confidence that it can force the international community to accept it as a nuclear country, despite all the offers, guarantees and promises made to stop this from happening,” Al-Rashed said, according to a translation provided by the Middle East Media Research Institute.

Al-Rashed, who is the former editor of the London-based Saudi daily, said that if Iran obtains a nuclear weapon then Saudi Arabia will have no choice but to do the same.

“From a theoretical, political and military perspective, Saudi Arabia will have to protect itself from the Iranian regime’s nuclear program either with a nuclear weapon or via agreements that will maintain the regional balance of power and protect Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states.”

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Fears have persisted that, aside from the threat a nuclear Iran would pose to its neighbors and other countries of the world, it would also lead to a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, a belief Al-Rashed all-but confirms as fact.

” The question now is: If the United States allows Iran to build nuclear weapons, why [is it not] the right of Saudi Arabia, Iran’s neighbor, to protect itself and do the same? This would allow Saudi Arabia to maintain the balance of power with Iran. The two countries that have been in conflict for more than three decades,” he said.

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