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Nuclear Tech Race Is On In Middle East 352

CaroKann writes "The TimesOnline is reporting that six Middle Eastern nations have announced interest in developing nuclear technology. The nations involved are Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, the UAE and Saudi Arabia, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency. The Middle East Economic Digest states that most of these nations are interested in developing nuclear technology for the purpose of powering desalination plants. However, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, suggests that the sudden interest in nuclear technology is driven by the desire of the six nations to create a 'security hedge' in response to Iran's recent nuclear development program."
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Nuclear Tech Race Is On In Middle East

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  • Plan ahead (Score:3, Informative)

    by WindBourne ( 631190 ) on Saturday November 04, 2006 @04:47PM (#16718649) Journal
    Iran has nuclear capable missles that can hit all of the middle east and most of Europe. The time to plan is not when they announce and show their nukes, but when you can influence them. Sadly, that time was a couple of years ago. We decided to invade a nation for its oil rather than worrying about the security of all the nations. At this time, I would count on the fact that the entire middle east will have nuclear missles within 15 years. Lets hope that W. (or the dems) do not kill the ABL (anti-ballistic laser). Lasers are probably our best shot at stopping these missles. The patriot system can be easily overwhelmed.
  • by Fruny ( 194844 ) on Saturday November 04, 2006 @04:53PM (#16718687)
    Considering how Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia are all located to the West of Italy, with Morocco itself facing Spain, I honestly don't think they can or should be called Middle Eastern nations. Some people needs to review their geography a tiny little bit.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 04, 2006 @05:17PM (#16718879)
    On the other hand, Israel has nuclear weapons already.

    Considering the recent events [] in Lebanon, who can guarantee that Israel is not going to use them?
  • Fear my google-fu! (Score:2, Informative)

    by weteko ( 1022621 ) on Saturday November 04, 2006 @05:57PM (#16719221)
    Tom Lehrer, "Who's Next" First we got the bomb and that was good Because we love peace and motherhood Then Russia got the bomb but that's OK Because the blance of power's maintained that way Who's next? France got the bomb but don't you grieve Because they're on our side, I believe China got the bomb but have no fears Because they can't wipe us out for at least five years Who's next? Then Indonesia claimed that they Were gonna get one any day South Africa wants two, that's right One for the black and one for the white Who's next? Egypt's gonna get one too Just to use on you-know-who So Israel's getting tense Wants one in self-defense "'The Lord's our Shepherd,' says the Psalm But just in case, we better get a bomb!" Who's next? Luxembourg is next to go And who knows, maybe Monaco We'll try to stay serene and calm When Alabama gets the bomb Who's next? Who's next? Who's next? Who's next?
  • Re:Plan ahead (Score:3, Informative)

    by WindBourne ( 631190 ) on Saturday November 04, 2006 @06:07PM (#16719279) Journal
    You are thinking of the patriot system. The ABL is about undergo testing for the targeting system. Late next year, is suppose to be the test for the total package. ABL should work whereas the patriot system never really had a chance.
  • Re:Ho hum (Score:5, Informative)

    by DigitalRaptor ( 815681 ) on Saturday November 04, 2006 @06:43PM (#16719569) Homepage
    I agree with you that the U.S. should think long and hard about how it is viewed in the world and why.

    However, I disagree strongly that the terrorists or their movement would ever just "go about their everyday lives".

    You need to see "Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West []", a 2 hour or so documentary about the radical islam.

    Their hatred for us is taught to them from a very young age and is religious in nature. It will not change or go away without decades of effort. No one change will even come close. Ever. Period.

    It is simply beyond our comprehension without seeing that documentary or understanding what it demonstrates. I thought I already understood radical islam but was blown away by some of the stuff in it. And it is their words, their TV, their music, their teachings.

  • by Zocalo ( 252965 ) on Saturday November 04, 2006 @06:58PM (#16719665) Homepage
    Actually, classing them as Arabic isn't much better either since the bulk of Morocco's population is Berber with only about 10% being "pure" Arabs, Algeria's genetic makeup is not too much different than that of Morocco and Libya is even named after a Berber tribe. A much more accurate term would be Islamic, but that's not especially a word people like hearing in close relation with the word nuclear these days, despite almost all of the listed governments having generally cordial political relations with the EU and US at present. Morocco is talking about membership of the EU and openly supported the Coalition in "Iraqi Freedom", and Libya seems to be trying very hard to make amends for past activities at present.
  • someone else is spending a couple of hundred on lead to line a shipping container headed for the port of baltimore. remember, the most complicated technology that enabled 9/11 was box cutters. a lot of people look to technology to provide them with security for problems which are essentially nontechnological in nature. in other words, your lasers are useless and a waste of time and you are looking for your security solutions in the wrong place
  • open secret (Score:2, Informative)

    by lrhegeba ( 175526 ) on Sunday November 05, 2006 @04:40AM (#16723077)
    Doesn't exactly come as a surprise. And make no mistake, for some of these countries a nuclear power plant will only be the first step on the road to nuclear weapons.
    Saudi-Arabia has already for some time tried to get their hands on atomic weapons. For more details read this []. They also financed Pakistan and exchanged scientists. The former Saudi defense minister Prince Sultan met with the father of the Pakistani A-bomb Quadir Khan in May 1999 at his nuclear reasearch labs. Crown prince Abdallah offered cheap oil in exchange for nuclear weapons at a state visit end of 2003 (washington post reported on this end of 2003).
    nukes need a delivery mechanism, so they try to take care of that too. In All-Sulayil they erected launching silos, allegedly they already have some pakistani Ghauri-rockets. For sure they already possess middle-range (2500 km) Dong-Feng-3. In May 2005 Saudi-Arabia asked the IAEO to "limi" their inspections, at June 16 2005 they signed an agreement to the effect that there will be no surprise inspections.
    In my eyes Saudia-Arabia having nukes would be much more dangerous than Iran. Iran never waged war or was as aggressor starting a war (though financing terrorist and supporting groups taking hostages) and is in this region a 20th century country - good infrastructure, good education and NO monarchy/dictatorship with an absolutist leader/sheik/king. Saudi-Arabia in contrast spreads hate, finances terrorists on a large scale - of these guys i would be afraid.

Were there fewer fools, knaves would starve. - Anonymous