Israel isn’t the only country in the Middle East that wants to keep nuclear weapons out of Iran’s hands.
Yousef al-Otaiba, the United Arab Emirates Ambassador to the United States, publicly stated that he favored bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities if sanctions did not stop it’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and that the UAE could not live with a nuclear armed Iran. He also ridiculed the ideas of containment and deterrence, predicted a nuclear arms race in the region if Iran acquired nuclear weapons and said that countries there would cut their ties with the U.S. if it failed to protect them by allowing Iran to become a nuclear power. Although he was not speaking on behalf of his government as such it is safe to say the UAE itself subscribes to his comments.
It is also safe to say that virtually every other Arab country in the Middle East also subscribes to them. Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Jordan et.al.-none of them want Iran to become a nuclear power because they all know their own security would be jeopardized if it did. Iran would seek to establish it’s hegemony in the region at the expense of it’s neighbors, which is something all of them are very much afraid of. A nuclear armed Iran would make them susceptible to nuclear blackmail and would lead to terrible suffering and all out war as they attempt to defend themselves. Israel knows perfectly well that Iran would attack it with nuclear weapons as soon as it was able to do so…other countries in the region have no illusions either and fully realize that a nuclear Iran would place them in great danger as well.
Unfortunately, Mr. al-Otaiba didn’t mention that virtually everyone also realizes that sanctions will not work and that military force will have to be used if Iran is to be prevented from acquiring nuclear weapons. The U.S. and Israel are the only two countries that could conceivably use it. Israel most assuredly will attack if it concludes that America won’t because it will have to if it is to survive. In any case, attacking and destroying Iran’s nuclear facilities will earn either one the gratitude, admiration and respect of Arab nations in the Middle East regardless of how they might or might not respond for public consumption. That is the way things work there. Weakness is despised and is something to be taken advantage of whereas the sword and the willingness to use it is revered.
Israel understands all of this. Whether or not the United States does remains to be seen.