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Thursday, November 01, 2007

World: Saudi Arabia and Iran

Prince Saud al-Faisal pic from Reuters

Veddy interesting. Reuters reports that a consortium of Gulf states - Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) - are proposing to set up a consortium to provide enriched uranium to Iran and other Middle-Eastern nations that request it. In an interview with the Middle Eastern Economic Digest (MEED) Prince Saud al-Faisal of Saudi Arabia stated:
"The U.S. is not involved, but I don't think it (would be) hostile to this, and it would resolve a main area of tension between the West and Iran ... ."


Prince Saud, speaking on Thursday during a visit to Britain, said Iran was considering the offer, which envisages building a plant in a neutral country.

"We believe it should be in a neutral country -- Switzerland, for instance," said Prince Saud. "Any plant in the Middle East that needs enriched uranium would get its quota. I don't think other Arab states would refuse. In fact ... other Arab countries have expressed a desire to be part of the proposal."
So, is this something that is being dictated by the U.S. in an effort to work around the inflammatory rhetoric? Or is Saudi Arabia, with the aid of all the other Gulf nations, ostensibly pro-U.S. regimes, trying to work around Bush's inflammatory rhetoric? Or have the Gulf nations come to the conclusion that high oil prices can only keep their economies afloat for so long, and they'd better find an alternative to nuclear power and work hand-in-glove with Iran to do it?

Lots of questions, no answers yet.

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