By Eli Leon, News Agencies & Israel Hayom Staff
Saudi Arabia has stepped up efforts to pursue its own nuclear program, Fox News reported Sunday. Riyadh’s interest is said to be a result of its anxiety over the nuclear deal being negotiated between Iran and world powers, which the Saudis do not believe will halt Iran’s race toward a nuclear weapon.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif arriving in Riyadh [Archive] – Photo: AFP
According to the report, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif visited Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, ahead of a visit by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. The visit sparked speculations that Pakistan may become Saudi Arabia’s chief supplier of nuclear technology — a deal that may prove highly lucrative for Islamabad, but may also further destabilize the Middle East.
“The visit by the PM … almost certainly has to be seen in the context of Saudi Arabia looking to Pakistan for nuclear cooperation to counter Iran’s emerging status,” Simon Henderson of the Washington Institute told Fox News.
Riyadh has funded parts of Islamabad’s nuclear efforts in the past “in return for a widely assumed understanding that, if needed, Islamabad will transfer technology or even warheads [to Saudi Arabia]. The visit by the PM … almost certainly has to be seen in the context of Saudi Arabia looking to Pakistan for nuclear cooperation to counter Iran’s emerging status,” he said.
The report further quoted Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer as trying to illustrate the gravity of the threat posed by a weak agreement with Iran by saying, “When the Israelis and Arabs are on the same page, people should pay attention. That doesn’t happen too often.”
The main concern is that, should Iran become a nuclear threshold state, it would trigger an arms race in the Middle East, which would include Egypt as well.
View original Israel Hayom publication at: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=24023