Anyone wanna bet where the next nuclear war will be fought? Ten years ago, the smart money was on India-Pakistan. While these folk dodn't like Israel -- which is also armed with nukes -- they don't get along with each other. The Algerians don't like the French much, either. It's doubtful the Moroccans and Tunisians really want a bomb or could afford the infrastructure to build one, but the rest could probabkly pull it off.
Six Arab states join rush to go nuclear
By Richard Beeston, Diplomatic Editor, Times of London
Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, UAE and Saudi Arabia seek atom technology
THE SPECTRE of a nuclear race in the Middle East was raised yesterday when six Arab states announced that they were embarking on programmes to master atomic technology.
The move, which follows the failure by the West to curb Iran’s controversial nuclear programme, could see a rapid spread of nuclear reactors in one of the world’s most unstable regions, stretching from the Gulf to the Levant and into North Africa.
The countries involved were named by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Saudi Arabia. Tunisia and the UAE have also shown interest.
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.