UAE Leader: Israel Would Destroy Iran if Attacked

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum discards concerns over Tehran's nuclear program, saying Iran has no use for such weapons.


The prime minister of the United Arab Emirates has rejected the threat of a nuclear Iran, saying that if Tehran were to attack Israel, it would be destroyed the next day.

In an interview with CNN, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, the absolute monarch of Dubai, said that he does not think Iran would develop a nuclear weapon since it would be of little use to it.

Iranian President Ahmadinejad speaks at a UN nuclear conference in New York, May 4, 2010Credit: AP

"What can Iran do with a nuclear weapon?" al-Maktoum asked CNN. "For example, will they hit Israel? How many Palestinians will die? And if you think Iran hits Israel, their cities will be safe? They will be gone the next day."

Al-Maktoum insisted that Iran, which lies just 50 miles away from the UAE, is not building a nuclear weapon.

On Monday, the Telegraph reported that Iran's Revolutionary Guard, quoting Western intelligence sources, has raised its alertness level, fearing a military strike by a foreign power.

According to the Telegraph report, the commander of the Revolutionary Guard Mohammed Ali Jaafari issued a command to raise operational readiness, fearing what the report called "potential external strikes and covert attacks."

Iran has consistently denied it is aiming to produce a nuclear weapon, despite recent IAEA findings that suggest Tehran has been working to produce an atomic bomb.

Western powers have mounted several rounds of sanctions on Iran following the report, Australia being the latest power to expand sanctions.

Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd said in a statement Tuesday that the measures will target people and companies involved in Iran's ballistic missile and nuclear programs and will restrict Australia's business with Iran's petroleum and financial sectors.



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