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March 26, 2017 12:21 pm

Ex-British PM Tony Blair at AIPAC Conference: If Iranian Regime Were Benign, All Problems in Middle East Would Be Resolvable

avatar by Barney Breen-Portnoy

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Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair speaks at the annual AIPAC policy conference in Washington, DC on Sunday. Photo: Screenshot.

“If you had a benign regime in Iran, all of the problems in the Middle East would be resolvable,” ex-British Prime Minister Tony Blair said on Sunday.

Speaking at the opening session of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s annual policy conference in Washington, DC, Blair called for a tough line against the Islamic Republic.

“We have to push back hard,” Blair said.

Regarding the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, Blair — a former Mideast Quartet envoy who still travels often to the region — expressed his view that a “new way forward” was needed.

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“We’re not going to reach peace in the old way,” Blair said. “Up to now, people thought if you do a peace deal, then the circumstances will change. I think it’s the other way around.”

Israel and many Arab countries, Blair noted, share numerous “common strategic interests.”

“The key to transforming the Middle East,” according to Blair, “is to have relationship between Israelis and Arabs which can be open, above the table, acknowledged in which Israel’s existence is accepted and Israel works closely with Arab states.”

“What I would like to see,” Blair went on to say, “is a new alliance in the Middle East — a strategic partnership with the leadership of the United States of America, in which we say this is what the battle in the Middle East is about. It’s against extremism, in favor of mutual respect across boundaries, race, faith and culture. And if we want the Middle East to succeed, we need to base this new partnership not just on interests, but on basic human values of dignity, respect and tolerance for all.”

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  • Kronsteen

    AIPAC and Tony Blair. They deserve each other.

  • If the Salafi gulf states started today to reverse the CENTURY of racist hate, and legend pushed down the throats of Arabs there and around the world, in order to make such an alliance possible, it would take a MINIMUM of 2 generations to achieve a milieu in which this kind if (highly intelligent) alliance would be possible.

    Two generations from now, however, given Israel’s defense structure and the level of defense buying going on in those states around the gulf (KSA, has what, 4th or 5th highest defense spending in the world, and this year will SURPASS RUSSIA), Iran itself may be in a different situation or not under the present racist, genocidal control.

    Never the less, the govts and esp the defense structures of these states working even as a inchoate alliance can have a very strong effect to prevent a regional war in which every weapon known to man gets used, and millions are casualties.

  • henrytobias

    ‘Words, words words, I’m so sick of words.’ to quote from My Fair Lady. The Palestinians don’t want peace, they want the whole piece, from the sea to the river as they chant at anti-Israel rallies across the globe.

  • Keith James

    hey Tony, you’ve got to change the Likud Charter first….read it out loud sometime….

  • just_me_1006

    Would anybody explain how Iran is the only thing holding up peace in the middle east?

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