Dubai ruler dismisses Iran N-arms concern
Dubai, December 7, 2011
Dubai's ruler said he does not believe Iran will get nuclear weapons, despite Western suspicions that it is trying to develop them, saying the Islamic republic would face devastation if it ever used an atomic bomb against its arch-enemy Israel.
Iran insists its nuclear programme is peaceful but a United Nations watchdog issued a report last month which suggested that it had worked on designing an atomic bomb.
Dubai's ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, who is also prime minister of the United Arab Emirates, dismissed such concerns in an interview with CNN.
"What can Iran do with a nuclear weapon? For example, will they hit Israel? How many Palestinians will die? You think if Iran hits Israel, do you think their (cities) would be safe? They would be gone the next day," he said.
Asked if he thought Iran would get a nuclear weapon, Sheikh Mohammed said: "I don't think so myself."
CNN released excerpts on its website of the interview with the ruler of Dubai, an emirate which has extensive trade ties with Iran across a narrow part of the Gulf.
Iran says its nuclear programme is exclusively for generating electricity. It has suffered heavy sanctions from international powers demanding it halt activities that they believe are intended for military purposes.
EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said on Tuesday that there was consensus among European Union states on the need for an embargo on Iranian oil in response to the report from the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Israel, which has a policy of neither confirming nor denying that it has nuclear weapons, is widely believed to have the Middle East region's only nuclear arsenal. - Reuters