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In Response to Iran: Two Saudi and Egyptian Bombs - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Iran announced that it has unraveled the nuclear riddle, succeeded in enriching uranium, and acquired the ability to possess nuclear fuel, but wait, Iran says that it does not intend to use it to produce nuclear weapons, a statement that Tehran will find very few believe. We heard the same rhetoric from Pakistan when its government said that its nuclear research is for peaceful purposes. However, it turned out later that it had produced nuclear weapons and had developed the means of delivering them.

The governments of the region did not believe Iran before, and they will not believe it in the future when it admits that it possesses a nuclear weapon, claiming that it is aimed against Israel only. In the past it has previously used military force to attack Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates and occupied the last of its islands in 1991. It had also intercepted Qatari warships in the Gulf waters. It is no secret that it also has a hand in the security problems in Bahrain, in addition to its exposed activity in Iraq.

After the Iranians have become very close to possessing nuclear weapons, we should ask whether time is ripe now to adopt a balance of deterrence as a policy for the countries of the region. In other words, mounting another nuclear weapon to confront the Iranian nuclear weapon.

A Saudi atomic bomb is not an option, which we were thinking of a few days ago. We are one of the world peoples who cast doubts the most on the industry, trade, and policy of weapons. We were depressed by the wars, which have shocked the region since 1979 between Iraq and Iran and which inflicted material and human losses on the region over eight years in a way that exceeded the losses inflicted by the Arab-Israeli wars over half a century and later the occupation of Kuwait and the occupation of Iraq.

However, we know that there is no other option to deal with Iran, which is armed with nuclear weapons, except through the same balance of terror, which guarded the situation among Moscow, Beijing, and the West, and now between Karachi and New Delhi. We also know that the Pakistanis could not have developed, produced, and maintained their weapon had the West not accepted this in reply to the Indian nuclear weapon and as a deterrence to it.

Based on this formula of balance, what if Riyadh, as a representative of the Gulf region, mounted a nuclear weapon facing Iran? Would this be enough? Here, Egypt will demand the same thing, taking into consideration that it is a central state in the region and is important in the military balance with Iran and Israel as well.

The time sequence of the Iranian nuclear story leaves no room except for skepticism, fear, and preparedness. Regrettably, this has also opened a new serious chapter of arms race in the Gulf. Iran has been telling lies about its nuclear activity from the very beginning. Right from the start, it denied that it has nuclear facilities. When the pictures of these facilities were exposed, it began to talk about a limited scientific nature of these facilities. After the reports of inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) exposed its lies, it admitted that it seeks to enrich uranium to produce energy only. This is an unconvincing argument by a country that is the fourth in the world in the possession of oil, which is cheaper than atomic energy in terms of price and effort. Despite its new denial, we will see the Iranian nuclear bomb. At that point, Iran will justify this by saying that Israel has a similar arsenal. When it uses it the bomb, it will most likely target the Gulf countries, as was the case over 30 years.

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed is the former general manager of Al-Arabiya television. He is also the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, and the leading Arabic weekly magazine Al-Majalla. He is also a senior columnist in the daily newspapers Al-Madina and Al-Bilad. He has a US post-graduate degree in mass communications, and has been a guest on many TV current affairs programs. He is currently based in Dubai.

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