Welcome to the Middle East Today

The Middle East has traditionally been important for the world economy. The Middle East situation today has an impact on all aspects of life in America and much of the world.

Only by understanding the motivations of the various factions in the Middle East can we hope to understand how to promote peace and national security for Middle Eastern nations, Europe, and the United States.

Oct 12, 2010

The Arab States and their Proposed Nuclear Reactors

The Arab states led by Egypt have been trying to turn the Middle East region into a zone free of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). The only state in the region with substantial WMD is Israel. It acquired its nuclear reactor from France and helped build it in 1964. The British and the Americans were also secretly involved in the project. Britain provided Israel with heavy water and Israel stole nuclear fuel from the United States. Israel, as a result, emerged as the nuclear power in the Middle East. The CIA estimated that Israel possesses between 200 and 300 nuclear heads. Israel has refused to open its nuclear facilities for inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and refused to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty( NPT)

Nevertheless, during the past three decades, Israel has been conducting a secretive war to prevent any nation in the region from acquiring or developing nuclear facilities. Israel bombed the Iraqi nuclear reactor as well as suspected nuclear facilities in Syria. Furthermore, Israel has been accused of the assassination of Arab and Iranian scientists. For the last few years, Israel has been threatening to bomb the Iranian nuclear facilities and has been pressuring the U.S. to do the job for them. The end result of the Israeli threat to Iran remains to be seen.

During the past few years, the U.S. government has been pressuring Egypt and Arab states to stop pushing the IAEA to pass a resolution forcing Israel to open its nuclear facilities for inspection and turn the Middle East into a zone free of WMD. Arabs and their allies’ attempts have been blocked by the U.S., Israel and their Western allies. The Arab proposal at the annual meeting was defeated by five votes: 46 votes against and 41 votes in support of the proposal. Since the creation of the state of Israel, the U.S. government has adopted a one way policy, which is implementing whatever Israel wants politically, economically and militarily without questions asked. This U.S. policy has been confirmed by few members of the American Congress, which I have discussed in previous posts. Evenhanded American foreign policy towards the Arab world has never been practiced by the U.S. government, regardless of who is in the White House. This type of policy has been a threat to the American national interest. Nevertheless, new trends began to develop in the Arab world, such as the development of nuclear reactors for peaceful means (to generate power, which many Arab states need badly).

Unfortunately, due to Israeli pressure on the U.S. government, objections to the development of nuclear reactors began to emerge, first against Jordanian plans (see post 6/19/2010). This is despite the fact that Jordan has signed the Nuclear Non-proliferation treaty and publicly announced that the nuclear reactor will be a joint public and private project. This will provide the transparency needed so that the enriched uranium will be used for peaceful objectives.

Fortunately, Jordan recently discovered a rich deposit of raw uranium in 2007 that will facilitate its use to fuel its nuclear reactor, which is under construction. The Jordanian government is negotiating with French and Japanese companies to build the nuclear facilities to enrich the uranium to fuel its reactor. The Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty permits Jordan to enrich its uranium for peaceful purposes. Nevertheless, the U.S. government and Israel objected and began to put obstacles in the way of the Jordanian nuclear project. This was not a surprise, despite the fact that Jordan has signed a peace treaty with Israel. As I stated previously, Israel’s strategy is clear: it focuses on preventing Arab states from acquiring a nuclear strategy so that it can dominate the region.

Nevertheless, the U.S. government continues its pressure on Jordan, as it already has done to other Arab states, requiring them to import the enriched uranium instead of producing it at home. The proposed American-Israeli policy to force Arab states to rely on foreign powers (basically Western ones), will put Arab states under the mercy of the West.

Since the majority of Arab states have announced their plans to develop nuclear reactors for peaceful use, they have a golden opportunity to create an Arab Nuclear Research Consortium and collectively develop their nuclear policy. This collective Arab stand will be the best to stand up to Israel and the U.S. The Arab states have many strong options to use against those who try to prevent them from exercising their legal rights. For example, according to international law, states that have signed the non-proliferation treaty have the right to enrich their own uranium for peaceful use. Jordan, having discovered a large deposit of uranium ore, is trying to build its facilities to enrich uranium to fuel its reactor. They would be able to supply the Arab states with enriched uranium to fuel their own nuclear reactors.

This approach will be very advantageous for Arab states in general and Jordan in particular. The advantages are economical as well as political. The Arabs will not be under the mercy of Western powers such as the United States, which is greatly influenced by the Israeli government and the American Israeli Pubic Affair Committee (AIPAC).

The age of Western colonialism is over and Arab leaders should stand up for their rights.

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