U.S. Envoy Says Iran Top Issue in Mideast

[Washington Times] Nicholas Kralev - Iran's nuclear program and its increased regional influence have replaced the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as the main concern of governments in the Middle East, the Obama administration's chief envoy for the region said Thursday. Jeffrey D. Feltman, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during his confirmation hearing that the fears about Iran have become "the key development in the region." "When you traveled around the [Middle East] five, six, seven years ago, almost everywhere you went, the first thing that came up was the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," Feltman said. "When you travel around today, what you are going to hear about is Iran." He reiterated the administration's goal of preventing Iran from building a nuclear weapon. Feltman called Iran a "spoiler" in the pursuit of Arab-Israeli peace through its support for Hamas, which controls Gaza, and Lebanon's Hizbullah. Nevertheless, he said, "we want to address the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in order to remove one of the tools that Iran uses to distract the region from what Iran is doing."

2009-05-15 06:00:00

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive