Israel helping ousted Ras al-Khaimeh leader

Published July 29th, 2010 - 05:54 GMT
Sheikh Khalid bin Saqr al-Qasimi
Sheikh Khalid bin Saqr al-Qasimi

Israel is aiding an exiled sheikh who is vying to seize control of an important Gulf emirate some 65 kms from Iran. The Israeli ambassador to London, Ron Prosor, has met Sheikh Khalid bin Saqr al-Qasimi, the exiled crown prince of Ras al-Khaimeh (RAK), who asked him to help with his efforts to oust the current leadership of the emirate.

The meeting took place in London in March and has been followed by phone calls and wider assistance and advice, according to records of the relationship seen by the Guardian.

Khalid, who has been based in London and has hired a solicitor from Ickenham as his agent, is bidding to replace his ailing father, Sheikh Saqr, and half brother, Sheikh Saud, to take control of RAK.

Khalid, who was sent into exile in 2003, claims RAK is now acting as a trafficking hub for nuclear arms parts to Iran and has spent more than £4m on an international public relations and lobbying campaign to persuade U.S. politicians and the pro-Israel lobby in the US that it would be safer if he were in charge.

Prosor has pressed his contacts in the US government on behalf of Khalid whose aides asked for help setting up meetings in Washington with anyone interested in their claims about RAK's alleged sanctions busting, particularly concerning parts for the Iranian nuclear development.

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