Prince Turki Al Faisal
GCC nuclear plan called to counter Iran threat
Manama, April 24, 2014
GCC nations should work on acquiring nuclear know-how to balance any threat from Iran, said a senior member of Saudi Arabia’s royal family.
Prince Turki Al Faisal, King Faisal Centre for Research and Islamic Studies chairman, also said that the Gulf states should be prepared for any possible outcome from Iran's nuclear talks with world powers, reported the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
Prince Turki was addressing a major conference in Bahrain spotlighting GCC national and regional security.
"We do not hold any hostility to Iran and do not wish any harm to it or to its people, who are Muslim neighbours," he said.
"Preserving our regional security requires that we, as a Gulf grouping, work to create a real balance of forces with it, including in nuclear know-how, and to be ready for any possibility in relation to the Iranian nuclear file.
"Any violation of this balance will allow the Iranian leadership to exploit all holes to do harm to us."
The US, France, Germany, Britain, China and Russia have agreed a July 20 deadline with Iran to clinch a long-term deal that would allow a gradual lifting of all nuclear-related sanctions imposed on Iran over its atomic programme.
The two-day event opened yesterday under the patronage of Deputy Premier Shaikh Mohammed bin Mubarak Al Khalifa.
The Bahrain Centre for Strategic, International and Energy Studies (DERASAT) is holding the conference under the theme "Inside View".
His Majesty's adviser for diplomatic affairs and DERASAT chairman Dr Mohammed Abdul Ghaffar also addressed the conference
Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister and former foreign minister Dr Shaikh Mohammed Sabah Al Salim Al Sabah said time is ripe for GCC countries to move ahead with confederate alliance.
GCC population has reached 47 million compared with 13 million when it was established three decades ago.
Expatriates make up half of the population causing a demographic imbalance which represents a big challenge in devising a security strategy. Any differences among GCC member states at present is a threat to their existence, he said.
Iran is seeking to gain more influence considering itself the defender and protector of Shi'ites overlooking their sense of belonging to their countries and lands, he added.
Meanwhile, in his address on behalf of GCC secretary general Dr Abdullatif Al Zayani, GCC General Secretariat assistant secretary general for security affairs Haza'a Mubarak Al Hajri urged GCC states to join ranks to ward off looming threats and stressed the key role of Gulf nationals in protecting their security.
Addressing the first session, Kuwaiti head of National Security Bureau Thamer Al Ali Al Sabah said the region has witnessed major changes which have repercussions that may last for a long time.
On his part, Dr Prince Nayef bin Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud said security and military co-operation, which had represented a main pillar of the GCC formation, will not develop outside the union framework.
Speaking at the second session, adviser to Kuwaiti prime minister Dr Mohammed Ghanim Al Rumaihi highlighted the Arab Spring repercussions on Gulf security and interference in affected countries. – TradeArabia News Service