DOHA: Iran’s gesture to its GCC neighbours inviting them to send over their nuclear experts to its Bushehr nuclear power plant to check its safety has evoked mixed reaction from people in the region.
While some have welcomed the move as a sign of Iran’s willingness to improve ties with its Arab neighbours, many expressed scepticism, saying Iran can’t be trusted.
To recall, there are concerns in the GCC states over a possible disaster at the Bushehr plant since it is said to be sitting on an active seismic zone on the other side of the Arabian Gulf.
The GCC countries, as is known, depend almost entirely for their potable water needs on the shallow sea whose water they desalinate at huge costs.
The fear is that should a catastrophe take place the waters would be contaminated with radiation threatening people’s lives on this side of the Arabian Gulf.
“No one can ever guarantee that a catastrophe wouldn’t take place. Japan, being a highly advanced country, couldn’t do a thing to prevent a nuclear disaster triggered by the tsunami, so where is Iran?” said a commentator reacting to the report on Alarabia.net about Tehran inviting the GCC states to look at Bushehr plant’s safety.
Reacting to a similar report on the UAE-based 24.ae news website, a commentator, echoing similar sentiments, said the GCC states continue to be concerned about their safety from a possible radiation from the Bushehr plant in the event of an earthquake.
Reactions also poured in on the website of London-based Arabic daily Al Quds.
One of the commentators hailed Iran’s gesture and said the invitation should allay GCC states’ fears about safety with regard to the Bushehr plant.
“It (Iran’s gesture) exposes the lie of those who have been inciting and sowing the seeds of mistrust (between Tehran and the GCC states),” said the commentator.
But another, reacting to the Al Quds report, said Arabs should never forget that Iran is a major threat. “It has already set its foot in Yemen (a veiled reference to Houthi Shias) and Bahrain.”
But yet another commentator, praising Iran’s gesture, said it was a welcome sign and should help restore trust between the two sides (Iran and the GCC states).