Monday, May 25, 2009

On Iran, Israeli And Arab Concerns Coincide Just So Far

Aluf Benn writes that it is true that the Arab world shares Israel's concern about Iran--
But the concerns are not identical. Israel is worried about the Iranian nuclear program and the Arabs are worried about Iran's regional strength and its undermining of the regimes in Cairo, Riyadh and the Gulf emirates. The Saudis and the Egyptians aren't counting the centrifuges and the grams of enriched uranium the way the Israelis are. They are content with a warning that if the Shi'ites in Iran have nuclear weapons, the Sunnis in the region will obtain them, too. Otherwise they are more concerned about terror and subversion. America is trying to reassure them by reinforcing its military forces in the Gulf. The Arab governments though, like Israel, want to know what America will do on the day the dialogue with Iran fails.
The difference in concerns means that Obama can address the Arab concerns separately without having to take the kinds of measures--or provide the approval--that Israel wants. The Arab would be satisfied with strong assurances and a symbolic show of force.

--kind of like what Israel has been receiving over the years.
The question is whether the Arab world will be so easily satisfied.

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