Saturday, December 8, 2007

Ya Think?

At least one official in the U.S. has some common sense...

U.S. Defence Secretary Robert Gates on Saturday said Iran, not Israel, is the force that is destabilizing Lebanon.

Gates also rejected suggestions that a nuclear-armed Israel would be a threat to Gulf countries and dismissed suggestions that Washington employed dual standards over the Jewish state and Iran.

Asked whether he thought Israeli nuclear weapons would be a threat in the same way as Iran having such an arsenal, he told delegates at a regional security conference in Bahrain: "No, I do not."

Israel has never officially confirmed that it has a nuclear arsenal but is widely believed to be the only state in the Middle East with such weapons, estimated to number 200.

Accused of applying double standards towards Iran and Israel -- Washington's main ally in the region -- Gates responded:

"Israel is not training terrorists to subvert its neighbors, it has not shipped weapons to a place like Iraq to kill thousands of civilians, it has not threatened to destroy any of its neighbors, it is not trying to destabilize the government of Lebanon, so I think there are significant differences in terms of both the history and the behavior of the Israeli and Iranian governments."

The leader of Israel's arch-foe, Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has called for it to be "wiped off the map."

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