The Clarion Fund–a group whose ties to prominent neoconservatives and Aish HaTorah we have written about recently–just sent out an email promoting their latest film, Iranium, and suggests that the WikiLeaks cables prove Iran is a destabilizing influence on the Middle East. The film’s producer, Raphael Shore, in an email titled “The Head of the Snake,” writes:
Wikileaks have caused an international sensation. Regarding Iran, the leaks have confirmed what many have already known: Iran poses a threat to the stability of the entire Middle East. Leaders of the Arab World are downright frightened by the reality that Iran will cross the nuclear threshold, if left unchecked.
According to the leaks:
- Bahrain’s King Hamad told U.S. Gen. David Petraeus, “That program must be stopped. The danger of letting it go on is greater than the danger of stopping it.”
- King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia went even further, calling for America to, “cut off the head of the snake.” The leaks reveal what Middle East leaders are saying to the U.S. about Iran. Yet, we don’t need the leaks to know what Iran has been saying about the U.S: Iran’s leaders openly call for the demise of America. Learn more about the history, ideology and dangers of the Iranian nuclear threat, in the upcoming documentary Iranium, scheduled for release on February 8, 2011.
Clarion is taking some liberties by suggesting that supposed comments from Bahrain’s King Hamad and Saudi Arabia’s King Abudullah prove that a nuclear Iran will threaten regional stability. A more nuanced analysis of the Arab statements on Iran was made by the former ambassador to Saudi Arabia Chas Freeman in an interview with Ali Gharib. Ali was working on an IPS article he published with Jim Lobe, but was kind enough to share his notes with me.
Freeman told him:
But I think it’s easy to misread these expressions. If you say ‘cut off the head of the snake,’ or if you say ‘not dealing with the Iranian nuclear issue is more dangerous than dealing with it,’ what you’re saying, in my experience with rulers in the Gulf, is that you look to the U.S. to solve problems that you have no idea how to deal with but which bother you. Does that mean that you’re endorsing military strikes? Despite the vivid language, I’d say it doesn’t. What it says is there’s a problem and we look to you (as a superpower) to handle it.