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Published on November 30th, 2010 | by Ali Gharib

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Hawks Portray Iran as Sole Concern of Arab Leaders

Jim Lobe and I have a piece on the IPS wire that looks closely at reactions to the belligerent talk of some Arab leaders about Iran found in WikiLeaks’ CableGate stash.

The notion that Iran occupies the sole spot of concern for autocratic Arab regimes was a quickly rising meme among hawkish commentators.

Here’s what we wrote on their reactions and why, perhaps, they shouldn’t be so quick to think that Arab leaders are not also focused on Israel:

Neo-conservatives and other war hawks, including those in power in Israel, have responded to those comments with barely concealed glee.

“[T]he most interesting thing to come from the latest WikiLeaks round is Arab world leaders’ being forced to come out of the diplomatic closet and declare Iran’s regime the number one enemy in the Middle East,” wrote Benjamin Weinthal, a fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, on the website of the National Review.

“In the Israeli media, defense analysts are concluding that the leaked comments vindicate Israel’s longstanding position on the need for swift and powerful action against Iran’s out-of-control regime,” Weinthal continued.

“The corollary to this is that Arab leaders very generally will not speak to Americans – though they will speak to others – about their fear of Israel,” Chas Freeman, a former diplomat who served as ambassador to Saudi Arabia, told IPS. “So the fact that Israel doesn’t feature in these conversations says nothing other than the Arabs are tactfully obsequious.”

(I’ve added the links and italics, which the wire does not accomodate.)

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One Response to Hawks Portray Iran as Sole Concern of Arab Leaders

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  1. avatar Jon Harrison says:

    I don’t think anyone doubts that the Arabs are very unhappy with Israeli policy in the occupied territories, Lebanon, etc. But the issue of the moment is the Arab attitude toward Iran. One has to face the facts head on and explain why war would be a mistake, even if the Saudis and others are in favor of smashing Iran.

    Is there any evidence to show that the leak to Wikileaks was the work of a pro-Israeli person or group who saw the quotes from Arab leaders as a means of reanimating the drive for war?


About the Author

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Ali Gharib is a New York-based journalist on U.S. foreign policy with a focus on the Middle East and Central Asia. His work has appeared at Inter Press Service, where he was the Deputy Washington Bureau Chief; the Buffalo Beast; Huffington Post; Mondoweiss; Right Web; and Alternet. He holds a Master's degree in Philosophy and Public Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science. A proud Iranian-American and fluent Farsi speaker, Ali was born in California and raised in D.C.



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