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Sat 10 Apr 2010 11:07 AM

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Iran 'to spur Middle East arms race' - Clinton

'Palestine must have capital in East Jerusalem, stake in West Bank & Gaza.'

Iran 'to spur Middle East arms race' - Clinton
BILL CLINTON: Clinton backed new US-led economic sanctions against Iran. (Getty Images)

Iran’s nuclear ambitions could trigger an arms race in the Middle East, the former US President Bill Clinton said in a speech on Friday.

In a wide-ranging speech at the Gems World Academy, Dubai, he also warned that Palestine must have a capital in East Jerusalem and a stake in the West Bank and Gaza, if peace is to be achieved in the Middle East.

Mr Clinton backed new US-led economic sanctions against Iran and warned the country’s nuclear bid could provoke the spread of nuclear weapons in the region.

“The effort to get economic sanctions to deter Iran from developing a nuclear weapon in the hope we don’t have some calamitous consequences either in a military conflict with Iran, or Iran developing a nuclear weapon and then having the UAE and Saudi Arabia and everyone else think they need one too in defence,” he said.

“The more countries that have these nuclear weapons, the more likely it is that the material is stolen or sold or given away to non-state groups that would think nothing of building a suitcase bomb that could take out half of this city.”

Mr Clinton was in Dubai to announce that Gems Education will become a partner of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an organisation that works with global leaders to combat problems as diverse as AIDS and climate change.

Earlier in the day he met with Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid, the vice-president of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, where he received a donation to the relief efforts in Haiti.

Addressing parents and students in the school’s auditorium, Mr Clinton said the world remained unstable, unequal and unsustainable and pressed for the establishment of a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem.

“When someone asks me my opinion; should the Palestinians have a state in the West Bank and Gaza, including a capital in East Jerusalem… the answer to the first question is yes,” he said, to applause. “It would enable the Palestinians and the Israelis to share a land they’ve both been on for more than 2,000 years. And it would reduce the temptation for terror, not just there but all over the world.”

Mike Jones 9 years ago

What gives the west the moral high ground to tell people what is right or wrong. 5 Countries in the world have a VETO that is always used in United Nations. 5 Countries are the permanent members of UN Security Council. Is there a coincidence that they all happen to have a Nuclear Arsenal ?! Does any one ever feel asking bonking Bill why he is not lecturing Israel to come clean about its nuclear bomb, and why is it that UN has no right of inspection over Israel. Obviously as his wife is bankrolled by the New York Jewish community, he knows that a single question about Israel will mean , that her campaign Dollars will be stopped. I am insulted by this arrogance, and I am neither an Arab nor a Gulf citizen, outrageous!

Joe Baz Ooka 9 years ago

I am in full agrement with the opinion expressed by Mike Jones of Oxford. It is the sheer arrogance of the West - "What I have, you can not have." And yes, why does the UN and all the other self appointed Expert Bodies of the West and the World Court of Justice etc, never ever or have the Guts to Question or ask for inspection over Isreal? It is always Iran, Korea or Iraq - which has been destroyed now in their search for the so called WMD's and the same people are getting paid millions by the hour for advicing some countries what to do. Sheer hypocricy and arrogance.

Jack Murphy 9 years ago

How right you are Mike Jones & friends - but all complaints will not change reality. Who founded the UN and set the rules - the US. Colonialism or imperialism old European style is over. Nowadays the most powerful commander in chief (US President) calls the world to the UN letting them know what agression he plans (Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Jemen, Iran etc), handing out some fake evidence and going ahead with a UN Mandate killing innocent people around the world. Meanwhile the US arms industry is walloing in the dow. Justice at the UN is the greatest illusion. Any anti-Israel resolution at the UN will be cancelled void by the US. So - don't expect Israel to change politics as long as big brother is protecting them.