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Saturday, November 04, 2006

Six more Arab countries want to go nuclear; IAEA to help

The Times of London reported this morning that six more Arab countries want to go nuclear in what is being termed a 'response' to the lax manner in which the world has reacted to Iran's nuclear capabilities. Not only that, but the IAEA is going to help them:
All want to build civilian nuclear energy programmes, as they are permitted to under international law. But the sudden rush to nuclear power has raised suspicions that the real intention is to acquire nuclear technology which could be used for the first Arab atomic bomb.

“Some Middle East states, including Egypt, Morocco, Algeria and Saudi Arabia, have shown initial interest [in using] nuclear power primarily for desalination purposes,” Tomihiro Taniguch, the deputy director-general of the IAEA, told the business weekly Middle East Economic Digest. He said that they had held preliminary discussions with the governments and that the IAEA’s technical advisory programme would be offered to them to help with studies into creating power plants.

Mark Fitzpatrick, an expert on nuclear proliferation at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, said that it was clear that the sudden drive for nuclear expertise was to provide the Arabs with a “security hedge”.

“If Iran was not on the path to a nuclear weapons capability you would probably not see this sudden rush [in the Arab world],” he said.
Can someone please explain to me why the Saudis - who sit on the world's largest proven oil reserves - need nuclear power?

For those wondering why the headline said six, the article also reports that Tunisia and the UAE (which also sits on substantial oil reserves) have also expressed interest in going nuclear.


At 4:33 AM, Blogger Kranky (in the civilized world) said...

A jihadi with a nuke. Not a pretty sight.

Expect them within a year of the first arab bomb.


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