Amid a flurry of recent reports about North Korea’s nuclear test, Egypt was mentioned as the sole Arab country with the potential to make a substantial nuclear development because Cairo declared the resumption of its peaceful nuclear program several months ago. In addition, Egypt has previous experience in this domain – operating the “Inshas” nuclear reactor. Moreover, Arab Gulf countries can help Egypt financially to develop its nuclear capacity.
The Arabs (read Egyptians) should take into consideration the following facts in this regard: Signing the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) does not constitute a hindrance in the face of planning a peaceful nuclear program that can eventually be transformed into a military program. Washington’s global influence is fading and smaller countries such as North Korea and Iran can circumvent international curbs and the US appears unable to launch military strikes on these countries.
The Arabs face the threat of Israeli nuclear arms, with the approval of the United States, and identical weapons in Iran’s possession without approval. Analysts believe that the Arabs have no choice but to seek to possess these arms to repel the enemies.