Friday, January 14, 2005
The Middle East is on the Brink of Going Nuclear
The Middle East is on the brink of going nuclear, and the rest of the world is fiddling or looking the other way. The United States is draining its energies in Iraq, the Europeans are fussing over ‘soft power’ diplomacy, and the UN monitoring agencies are dithering.There is also
All this has complicated the attempt to deal with the clutch of states in the Middle East that are understood to be rushing headlong down the nuclear route. Who, now, would believe fresh alarums from Washington about another rogue state — a member of the Axis of Evil, no less — that is on the brink of going nuclear? Only the Israelis, it seems.
worry about what might be going on in Egypt, Syria and Saudi Arabia, just three of about 18 countries — mostly Muslim and ore-rich African states — where nuclear scientist Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan(A.Q. Khan, who delivered the ‘Islamic bomb’ to Pakistan) has left his fingerprints.Why did Saudi Arabia purchase
about 50 CSS-2 missiles from China at a price of some $3 billion? Similar missiles in China’s arsenal were equipped with nuclear warheads, but the Chinese insist that the Saudi missiles carry conventional payloads.Why did Syria, Iran’s closest regional ally, possibly acquire
centrifuges that would provide Damascus with the ability to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons?Why is the IAEA finding evidence of secret nuclear experiments in Egypt that could be relevant to a nuclear weapons programme?
I suspect we are in the early stages of this war (WWIV) that will eventually involve all states in the Axis of Evil.