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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

A Nuclear Dawn in the Gulf?

Why do countries who are sitting on most of the world's known oil reserves seek to build nuclear reactors? Hint: It's not because they need nuclear power.

This story from Germany's der Spiegel is very disturbing....
As Iran tries to buy time in its dispute with the international community over its nuclear program, the Arab world's interest in atomic energy is apparently growing.

The secretary general of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Abdul Rahman al Attiyah, recently called on the "Arab nation" to work "together on a nuclear program," to prevent being left behind as others in the region -- namely Iran, which is Persian and sometimes at odds with its neighbors -- pushed ahead with atomic research.

Attiyah's call points to a shift in policy. Arab governments in the past have criticized both Iran's nuclear ambitions and Israel's (officially nonexistent) atomic program, while arguing for a nuclear-free Middle East and swearing off plans to pursue the bomb.

Of course, Attiyah and other Arab leaders say they want nuclear power only for civilian purposes -- but so does Iran's controversial President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The mere suggestion of "nuclear cooperation at an Arab level" therefore raises fears in the West of an arms race.

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman and the United Arab Emirates have all signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, as well as an agreement that bans them from all forms of uranium enrichment. Western countries would naturally like to keep those agreements intact. But Nicole Stracke, from the Gulf Research Center in Dubai, warns that "If the Gulf Cooperation Council decides to pursue a nuclear initiative it could mean Saudi Arabia might rethink its participation in those agreements."
That's just what we don't need: twenty-two Arab dictatorships holding nuclear weapons. It's time for the rest of the world to say that enough is enough.


At 8:33 PM, Blogger Kranky (in the civilized world) said...

Hi Carl

Get a load of this http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/video/2006/09/18/VI2006091800669.html which LGF pointed to.



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