يعدون خططاً لامتلاك القوة
بوب دروجين وبورزو داراجاهي
التايم الأمريكية - 26/5/2007
إن البرنامج النووي الإيراني
سوف يؤدي الى إثارة المخاوف لدى
البعض وسوف يؤدي الى التسابق
نحو امتلاك السلاح النووي في
make plans for nuclear power
program appears to be stirring interest that some fear
will lead to a scramble for atomic weapons in the
Bob Drogin and Borzou Daragahi, Times Staff Writers
— As Iran races ahead with an illicit uranium
enrichment effort, nearly a dozen other Middle East
nations are moving forward on their own civilian nuclear
programs. In the latest development, a team of eight
U.N. experts on Friday ended a weeklong trip to Saudi
Arabia to provide nuclear guidance to officials from six
Persian Gulf countries.
and analysts view the Saudi trip as the latest sign that
Iran's suspected weapons program has helped spark a
chain reaction of nuclear interest among its Arab
rivals, which some fear will lead to a scramble for
atomic weapons in the world's most volatile region.
International Atomic Energy Agency sent the team of
nuclear experts to Riyadh, the Saudi capital, to advise
the Gulf Cooperation Council on building nuclear energy
plants. Together, the council members — Bahrain,
Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the seven
sheikdoms of the United Arab Emirates — control nearly
half the world's known oil reserves.
nations that have said they plan to construct civilian
nuclear reactors or have sought technical assistance and
advice from the IAEA, the Vienna-based United Nations
nuclear watchdog agency, in the last year include Egypt,
Jordan, Syria, Turkey and Yemen, as well as several
North African nations.
of the governments has disclosed plans to build nuclear
weapons. But Iran's 18-year secret nuclear effort and
its refusal to comply with current U.N. Security Council
demands have raised concerns that the Arab world will
decide it needs to counter a potentially nuclear-armed
Iran. The same equipment can enrich uranium to fuel
civilian reactors or, in time and with further
enrichment, atomic bombs.
is no doubt that countries around the gulf are worried
… about whether Iran is seeking nuclear weapons,"
Gregory L. Schulte, the U.S. representative to U.N.
agencies in Vienna, said in an interview. "They're
worried about whether it will prompt a nuclear arms race
in the region, which would be to no one's benefit."
United States has long supported the spread of peaceful
nuclear energy under strict international safeguards.
Schulte said Washington's diplomatic focus remained on
stopping Iran before it could produce fuel for nuclear
weapons, rather than on trying to restrict nations from
developing nuclear power for generating electricity.
those empowered to monitor and regulate civilian nuclear
programs around the world are worried. Mohamed
ElBaradei, director-general of the IAEA, warned Thursday
that the surge of interest in sensitive nuclear
technology raised the risk of weapons proliferation.
Without singling out any nation, he cautioned that some
governments might insist on enriching their own uranium
to ensure a steady supply of reactor fuel.
concern is that by mastering the fuel cycle, countries
move dangerously close to nuclear weapons
capability," ElBaradei told a disarmament
conference in Luxembourg.
is the obvious case in point. Tehran this week defied
another U.N. Security Council deadline by which it was
to freeze its nuclear program. The IAEA reported that
Iran instead was accelerating uranium enrichment without
having yet built the reactors that would need the
nuclear fuel. At the same time, the IAEA complained,
Iran's diminishing cooperation had made it impossible to
confirm Tehran's claims that the program is only for
has unnerved Iran's neighbors as well as members of the
have the right if the Iranians are going to insist on
their right to develop their civilian nuclear
program," said Mustafa Alani, a security expert at
the Gulf Research Center, a think tank based in Dubai,
United Arab Emirates. "We tell the Iranians, 'We
have no problem with you developing civilian nuclear
energy, but if you're going to turn your nuclear program
into a weapons program, we'll do the same.'
sought to rally Arab support for its nuclear program at
the World Economic Forum meeting of business and
political leaders this month in Jordan.
will be a partner, a brotherly partner, and will share
its capabilities with the people of the region,"
Mohammed J.A. Larijani, a former deputy foreign
minister, told reporters.
officials were cool to his approach, however, and openly
questioned Iran's intentions.
IAEA team's weeklong foray to Saudi Arabia followed
ElBaradei's visit to the kingdom in April. The Gulf
Cooperation Council plans to present the results of its
study on developing nuclear plants to the leaders of
council nations in the Omani capital of Muscat in
don't say it, but everyone can see that [Iran] is at
least one of the reasons behind the drive to obtaining
the nuclear technology," said Salem Ahmad Sahab, a
professor of political science at King Abdulaziz
University in Jidda, Saudi Arabia. "If the
neighbors are capable of obtaining the technology, why
leaders of the Arab gulf states say they are eager to
close a technology gap with Iran, as well as with
Israel, which operates two civilian reactors and is
widely believed to have built at least 80 nuclear
warheads since the 1960s. Israel does not acknowledge
its nuclear arsenal under a policy aimed at deterring
regional foes while avoiding an arms race.
argue that the gulf states need nuclear energy despite
their vast oil and natural gas reserves.
region's growing economies suffer occasional summer
power outages, and the parched climate makes the nations
there susceptible to water shortages, which can be
offset by the energy-intensive processing of seawater.
promising future of nuclear energy in electricity
generation and desalination can make it a source for
meeting increasing needs," Abdulrahman Attiya, the
Kuwaiti head of the Gulf Cooperation Council, told the
group this week in Riyadh.
also cited long-term economic and environmental
advantages to nuclear energy.
large part of Gulf Cooperation Council oil and gas
products can be used for export in light of expected
high prices and demand," he said. "It will
also help to limit the increase in carbon dioxide
emissions in the gulf region."
remains unclear how many countries will carry through on
ambitious and enormously expensive nuclear projects. In
some cases, analysts say, the nuclear announcements may
be intended for domestic prestige, and as a signal to
Iran that others intend to check its emergence as a
regional power. As a result, some analysts say fears of
a nuclear arms race in the Middle East are overblown.
who caricature what's going on as Sunni concern about a
Shiite bomb are really oversimplifying the case,"
said Martin Malin, a nuclear expert at Harvard
University's Kennedy School of Government, referring to
Sunni Muslim-led Arab countries and Shiite Muslim-led
international monitoring, he contended, could ensure
that nuclear energy programs don't secretly morph into
what Jordan is really concerned about is energy, and the
U.S. is concerned about weapons, all kinds of oversight
can be provided," Malin said.
Russian diplomat here similarly cautioned that Iran's
influence on other nations' nuclear plans might be
overstated. "I should be very cautious about any
connection between these two things," he said.
"We don't deny that even Iran has the right to
peaceful nuclear activities."
enthusiasm for prospective nuclear programs appears
strongest in the Middle East, governments elsewhere have
displayed interest in atomic power after years of
decline in the industry that followed the 1979 reactor
accident at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania and the
far worse 1986 radiation leak at Chernobyl in Ukraine.
About 30 countries operate nuclear reactors for energy,
and that number seems certain to grow.
certainly a renaissance of interest," said an IAEA
official who works on the issue. "And there's
likely to be a renaissance in construction over the next
officials say the largest growth in nuclear power is
likely to occur in China, India, Russia, the United
States and South Africa, with Argentina, Finland and
France following close behind. The United States has 103
operating plants, more than any other country, and as
many as 31 additional plants are under consideration or
have begun the regulatory process.
there are other nations in line. Oil-rich Nigeria and
Indonesia are preparing to build nuclear plants. Belarus
and Vietnam have approached the IAEA for advice. Algeria
signed a deal with Russia in January on possible nuclear
cooperation. Morocco and Poland are said to be
considering nuclear power. Myanmar disclosed plans to
purchase a Russian research reactor.
Sudan, one of the world's poorest countries, has
Sudan shows up, we say, 'You're in a real early stage
and here's what you need. A law. Get people trained.
Build roads. And so on,' " the IAEA official said.
far, the nuclear programs around Iran are in the early
planning stages. Alani, the security expert in Dubai,
said most of the nations in the region were scoping out
the possibilities but had made no final decisions or
begun constructing facilities.
feel it's a right and significant move at least to put
[their] foot in the door of civilian nuclear
energy," he said. "It's not a race, not yet."
Iran, most of the countries that have recently begun
exploring or setting up nuclear programs are staunch
allies of the U.S., often with strong military and
political ties to Washington. A sampling of some
regional nations' plans:
to join the Gulf Cooperation Council's nuclear project.
to revive a nuclear energy program it abandoned two
to build three nuclear power plants along the Black Sea
to pursue a nuclear energy program.
to build its first nuclear power plant by 2020.
Bob Drogin, Times staff writer
لهذه المقالات لا يعني أنها
تعبر عن وجهة نظر المركز كلياً
من حق الزائر الكريم أن ينقل وأن ينشر كل ما يعجبه من موقعنا . معزواً إلينا ، أو غير معزو .ـ