Gulf countries, cautious about the nuclear standoff between the United States and Iran, signalled loudly at a regional security conference on Saturday their opposition to any military option against Tehran.
Washington, wrong-footed by its own National Intelligence Estimate in its accusations that Iran wanted nuclear weapons, has emphasised that no options have been ruled out in forcing it to end its nuclear enrichment programme. [complete article]
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said Saturday that Iran is a grave threat to regional security even without nuclear weapons, and called on Tehran to account for American intelligence that describes its support for terrorism and instability around the world.
Just days after Iran claimed political victory after a new American intelligence assessment found that Tehran had frozen its nuclear weapons program, Mr. Gates said Iran could restart those efforts at any time and must come clean about its efforts to build a bomb.
In a speech to a conference on regional security here, Mr. Gates dismissed those who suggested that the United States had a double standard on nuclear arms in the Middle East and that a nuclear-armed Israel was the real danger. He said that, unlike Iran, Israel had never threatened to destroy a neighbor. [complete article]