March 28, 2022 Special Dispatch No. 9855

Saudi Journalist: If U.S. Renews Nuclear Deal, Gulf States Must Act To Isolate Iran

March 28, 2022
Iran, Saudi Arabia | Special Dispatch No. 9855

In his February 19, 2022 column in the Saudi daily Makkah, Faisal Al-Shammari outlined a plan for the Gulf states to pursue if the U.S. renews the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.  He called on the Gulf states, which feel threatened by Iran, to develop air, naval and cyber defense systems, while also continuing their efforts to isolate Iran in the world. If Iran violates the agreement, he added, these countries must act to have it revoked and even establish an international military coalition that will destroy Iran's nuclear infrastructure.

Faisal Al-Shammari (source: Makkah, Saudi Arabia)

The following are translated excerpts from Al-Shammari's column:

"After the [anticipated] announcement about the signing of a nuclear agreement between Iran, the Biden administration and the six [superpowers], the initial response of the nations will perhaps be characterized by pessimism, disappointment and frustration. However, this may [also] be an opportunity [for them] to prove that Iran lies, and says one thing while doing the opposite… Most of the world countries still fear Iran and are likely to fear it even more once it becomes a country that is developing its nuclear capability. The Arab countries and Gulf countries should harness these feelings [and act] to intensify Iran's isolation and make sure that the nuclear agreement does not smooth its relations with outside world…

"Iran must understand that all the world countries, not only those signed to the agreement, have the right to know its intentions regarding its nuclear program. Iran is not a peaceful country, and does not strive for stability in the region, and therefore the world countries will not be indifferent if Iran plays with fire and threatens its neighbors with becoming a nuclear power.

"There is a need for increased intelligence activity to monitor Iran's progress in the nuclear [sphere]. This may be accomplished by dispatching drones on a more regular basis to photograph the vicinity of Iran's nuclear reactors, in order to ensure that Iran isn't violating its obligations in the nuclear sphere. Furthermore, eavesdropping mechanisms should be activated within and outside Iran, in order to discover what is taking place in discussions among its leaders regarding how it means to leverage this agreement to realize its evil objectives.

"The intelligence apparatuses in the Gulf States must make this intelligence effort… [and also follow] the conduct of the superpowers ahead of the signing of the nuclear agreement. The Arab countries must [also] develop aerial defense systems… comprising small rockets that can intercept any missile launched from any direction, particularly ones carrying nuclear warheads. It is the right of Arab countries to purchase, acquire and develop this type of rocket.

"Iran will not cease to develop its missile program, and this will spark very great concern, because it has the ability to equip such missiles with nuclear warheads. [However,] since Iran relies on other countries in the development of its nuclear missiles, every country that is developing Iran's missile capabilities must be persuaded to stop doing so, in light of the danger this poses to the safety and security of Arab countries.

"There is also the matter of the timetable of this agreement. Naturally, there is a big difference between a three-year and a five-year agreement. Iran will aspire to a long-term agreement, because that will enable it to develop its capabilities and acquire nuclear weapons. Therefore, the Arab countries should agree on a coordinated response in accordance with the timeframe of the agreement. They must [insist on] a linkage between unfreezing Iranian funds and the continuation of its terrorist activity.

"[In addition], the Arab countries must strengthen their defense system against cyber warfare, which Iran will use as a weapon… The Gulf states must maintain a permanent naval fleet in the Gulf, which will not presented as aggression against Iran but as a basic component [required] to  defend shipping in that area, where Iran has been long causing problems. Moreover, the presence of an Arab military force in the Gulf a necessary deterrent measure, given that a country like Iran, which violates international norms and law, possesses a dangerous nuclear program.

"Finally, if it becomes evident that Iran is not committed to any nuclear agreement, action must be taken immediately to revoke it, and the Arab countries have the right to cooperate with all the countries of the world[1] and work toward establishing a international coalition against Iran that will destroy its nuclear infrastructure. It is impossible to remain silent about this issue, which impinges on regional and international peace."[2]


[1] This may be a reference to accepting Israel as a legitimate partner in the struggle against a nuclear Iran.

[2] Makkah (Saudi Arabia), February 19, 2022.


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