Peter Oborne: "Saudi Arabia is far more of a threat to global peace than Iran"

Telegraph columnist Peter Oborne commented at the Conservative Middle East Council event that Saudi Arabia is more of a threat to global peace than Iran

by Phoenix on 9 October 2012 16:42

At a misleadingly billed Conservative Middle East Council event earlier at Conservative Party Conference, most of the time taken was used to discuss the withdrawal of British troops from Afghanistan. 

The event, "Arab Spring - Islamist Winter?" was chaired by Telegraph columnist Peter Oborne 'in conversation' with Rory Stewart.

Stewart insisted that more 'understanding' was needed about the conservatism of the Arab world, and how the West should be doing more to accept and get their heads around the fact that the Arab people were 'uncomfortable' liberalism. He effectively argued that because of this inherent conservatism, that the West should not try and preach liberal values such as perhaps, the fair treatment of homosexuals or even that of women. Stewart also asserted that the CIA funding for the Mujahideen in the 1990s (wrong) is a reason that the West should not seek to fund Syrian rebels.

But one of the most bizarre statements of the event was from the chair himself. Oborne noted that he believes that Saudi Arabia, is "more of a threat to global peace than Iran".

While the Saudi regime is to be deplored in many respects, the steps the government took to ensure the support of their Western allies makes them far from as dangerous as a continually belligerent and rhetorically violent Iran.

Many aspects of Saudi society are to be contested, and the West should indeed lead on convincing the regime to become a democratic and more liberal society, but Iran it is not. There is no pursuit of a nuclear weapon to use against democracies such as Israel. There is little or negligible state sponsorship of terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah. And yet Oborne asserts that global peace is threatened by a regime that effectively likes to keep itself to itself, shamefully oppresses its own citizens rather than threatening the wider world, and actively shares intelligence and economic interests with the West.

Why does the Telegraph continue to employ this man? P.S. he has form. 

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