Israel has reportedly agreed to allow the US to build a uranium enrichment facility in Saudi Arabia as part of a deal that would establish diplomatic ties between Riyadh and West Jerusalem. According to the Wall Street Journal, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has instructed senior nuclear and security officials to cooperate with the US on this issue. This progress comes after Netanyahu met US President Joe Biden on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session. Israeli and American sources have confirmed these developments.
While Israel is widely believed to be the only country in the Middle East with nuclear capabilities, it has never officially confirmed its status. However, officials cited by the WSJ have stated that Israel would accept the establishment of a US-controlled uranium enrichment plant in Saudi Arabia. The proposed facility would likely have measures in place to disable it remotely in the event of a crisis.
Critics of this potential deal argue it could increase the risk of nuclear proliferation. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, known for its “Doomsday Clock” that symbolizes the time remaining until global catastrophe, has expressed concern over the plan. The Bulletin claims that the deal may be motivated by a desire to keep Saudi Arabia from aligning with China. It also criticizes the White House for pressuring Congress to accept Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s demands.
Bin Salman, a powerful figure in Saudi Arabia, has stated publicly that his nation would pursue nuclear weapons if Iran were to acquire them. He reiterated this position in a recent interview with Fox News, stating that if Iran gets a nuclear bomb, Saudi Arabia would feel compelled to obtain one as well. However, he also acknowledged that developing nuclear weapons would be a poor policy choice because they cannot be used without antagonizing the entire world.
Tehran has repeatedly denied pursuing nuclear weapons and has even labeled such weapons as “un-Islamic.” However, skeptics argue that Saudi Arabia could potentially develop a nuclear weapon preemptively. Experts also warn of the long-term risk of radicals coming to power in Saudi Arabia.
It’s important to note that the proposed plan involving Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the US has not yet been approved by the Biden administration. The US is reportedly considering alternative options before making a final decision on the matter.
In conclusion, Israel has reportedly agreed to allow the US to build a uranium enrichment facility in Saudi Arabia as part of a diplomatic deal. However, there are concerns about the potential nuclear proliferation and geopolitical implications of such an agreement. The Biden administration has yet to finalize its position and is exploring other options.