On her recent visit to Saudi Arabia, ostensibly, to sow seeds of dissention between Islamic countries, Hillary Clinton also visited a womens college where she spoke to students. Mrs. Clinton bluntly accused Iran of sponsoring terrorism around the world. While brushing aside murmurs from some students on Israels nuclear arsenal, she said Iran had been a threat to other countries due to its funding of terrorists that were carrying out various nefarious activities against them all including the Saudi Kingdom. Clinton concluded by stating that the current administrations goal was to move towards a nuclear-free world, with 'zero nuclear weapons, excluding the US allies, one supposes, for Israel was, once again rather mystifyingly, ignored in this pious mission statement. There is some confusion here, though. George Bush Jr., one might recall, had alarmed the whole world by telling us about this group of Arab terrorists called Al-Qaeda that sponsored worldwide terrorism and wasnt he the President of United States, then? So who is it exactly, is it Iran or Al-Qaeda, or is the administration of Mr Bushs successor now telling us that they are one and the same? In the not so distant past, we heard the war drums rolling to the shrill cry of the WMDs (weapons ofmass destruction, you know) and, we churlishly bought the idea it too. None were found. Did Saddam Hussein of Iraq had anything to do with this Al-Qaeda thing? You bet not. Now are we expected to buy another cock and bull story in Mrs Clintons quick shuttles across the region? How long, and really how often, can the world be befooled? The Muslim rulers may buy this idea for their own vested interests but the Muslim populace the world over is one against it and considers US the number one threat to themselves. The Saudis, like anybody else in this often-volatile region, support the concept of a nuclear-free region. However, as flatly stated several times by the Islamic press all over the world, this policy should embrace all countries in the region, including Israel. Using Iran as a smokescreen to divert attention away from Israels growing nuclear arsenal is not likely to improve the US image in Muslim countries. -MUHAMMAD AAMIR KHAN, Jeddah, February 20