WASHINGTON – Bahrain's Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa
turned publicly recommended an article written by Israel's
ambassador to Washington Michael Oren
which focused on the need to thwart Iran's
nuclear aspirations on Twitter.
A senior official in an Arab country directing the spotlight at statements made by a senior Israeli diplomat is no insignificant matter but apparently the Gulf states - which have been anxiously following the progress of the Iranian nuclear project
and encouraging a military response behind the scenes - have chosen to move to open diplomacy.
On Tuesday Ambassador Oren published an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal in which he warned that "time is short for Iran diplomacy." The article seeks to prepare the US government and public opinion for the possibility of an Israeli military strike
on the Islamic Republic or convince the US that there is no point to waiting for the Iranians to give up their nuclear ambitions.
Bahraini foreign minister's tweet
Just a short time after the article was published, Foreign Minister Khalifa tweeted a link to the Ambassador's piece.
"Iran will continue to drag out the negotiations while installing more centrifuges," Oren wrote while emphasizing: "No country has a greater stake than Israel in using negotiations and economic pressure to dissuade Iran from developing nuclear weapons.
"We appreciate the determination of President Obama
and the US Congress to advance the sanctions
and their pledge to keep all options on the table."
Nevertheless, Oren mentioned that Obama affirmed "Israel's right 'to defend itself, by itself, against any threat,' and 'to make its own decision
about what is required to meet its security needs.'"
Oren added "Historically, Israel has exercised that right only after exhausting all reasonable diplomatic means. But as the repeated attempts to negotiate with Iran have demonstrated, neither diplomacy nor sanctions has removed the threat."
This is not the first time that the Bahraini foreign minister expressed a surprising position on Israel. Some 10 months ago he denounced
the violence against the Israeli embassy in Cairo, also through his Twitter account, stating: "The failure to defend the embassy building is a blatant violation of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations."
The tweet drew a slew of criticism which led him to issue a clarification in which he stated that he did not support Israel rather that he was concerned over the way the law was being broken.