The latest batch of Wikileaks revelations give the impression that, next to Israel, it’s the Arab states that are most energetically pressuring the U.S. to attack Iran. In terms of the real threat to Iran, that’s definitely putting the cart before the horse.
In the first place, the Arab governments mentioned as being hostile to Iran – Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates – are all undemocratic, unpopular regimes that depend on U.S. support to stay in power. As such, they seem to have absorbed the unrelenting years of U.S. claims that Iran is the region’s greatest threat to peace.
A completely different view, however, is held by these governments’ own subjects, among whom Iran’s independent stance actually is hugely popular. A recent Zogby International poll conducted in conjunction with the University of Maryland asked Arab people in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates to name two countries they thought were the greatest threat to the region. Eighty-eight percent said Israel, 77 percent said the U.S. and only 10 percent mentioned Iran. (1)