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» 24.03.2011 - Still double standards in Egypt justice
» 09.03.2011 - Leaks: "Mubarak behind 2005 terror attack"
» 03.03.2011 - Egypt PM Shafiq resigns after protests
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Politics | Society

Mubarak: "Egypt must consider nuclear bomb"

Egypts President Hosni Mubarak

© Mark Garten/UN Photo/afrol News
afrol News, 30 November
- Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak in talks with US diplomats leaves it clear that Iran is the greatest threat to his country. Should Iran get nuclear bombs, Egypt would "be forced" to do the same, he said.

According to several of the US State Department documents released this week by WikiLeaks, Egypt sees Iran as the major threat to its and the region's security. US diplomats and senators visiting Egypt in the period 2008-2010 are given the same and repeated message by President Mubarak and Egyptian General Intelligence Service (EGIS) chief Omar Soliman: Iran must be contained.

In May 2008, US Congressman Brian Baird together with US Ambassador in Cairo, Margaret Scobey, met President Mubarak for informal talks. Again, the Egyptian President emphasised on the need to stop Iranian expansion.

According to Ambassador Scobey's report, President Mubarak said that no one would accept a nuclear Iran: "We are all terrified," the Egyptian Preasident was quoted as saying. In talks with Iranian ex-President Khatami, he had warned against provoking "the Americans" into striking against Iran.

But President Mubarak went further. The Egyptian President "said that Egypt might be forced to begin its own nuclear weapons program if Iran succeeds in those efforts," according to the leaked embassy report.

The Egyptian leader in meeting after meeting urged the Americans to get tough on Iran. However, asked about a possible US-Arab military alliance against Iran, Mr Mubarak ruled out that option, which could provoke popular resentments.

According to Egyptian intelligence chief Soliman, speaking to US General David Petraeus in July 2009, Iran is actively trying to destablise the Middle East region and Egypt. Mr Soliman stressed that "Egypt suffers from Iranian interference, through its Hezbollah and Hamas proxies, and its support for Egyptian groups like Jamaatt al-Islamiyya and the Muslim Brotherhood," according to the Cairo embassy's report. Egypt would "confront the Iranian threat," he was quoted as saying.

Ambassador Scobey points out that President Mubarak totally agrees with these viewpoints of his intelligence chief. She quoted the Egyptian President as saying that Iran seeks to export its "Shia revolution."

In a larger report to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in January 2009, preparing her for an upcoming meeting with Egyptian Foreign Minister Aboul Gheit, Ambassador Scobey forwards a message from President Mubarak to the US government: Egypt "did not oppose the US speaking to the Iranians, as long as we did not 'believe a single word they say'."

African Union "soft on" Mugabe, Bashir
The Cairo embassy documents released by WikiLeaks also reveal little faith in the African Union (AU) by President Mubarak. The day after the AU summit in Egypt's Sharm El-Sheikh in 2008, President Mubarak told US Senator John Kerry he would have liked to exclude Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, but was unable to "because Zimbabwe is a member of the African Union."

According to the embassy report, President Mubarak told Senator Kerry "the British were behind this 'big fuss' and that the pressure from other African leaders was 'sufficiently soft that Mugabe can do what he wants'."

Regarding the Darfur conflict and Sudan's controversial President Omar al-Bashir, President Mubarak said the issue was not discussed publicly at all at the AU summit. He also was quoted as saying that "this issue could have been worked out" if it were not debated so publicly because "two tribes always work things out."

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