TEL AVIV – Israel has detected “signs” that Arab states are seeking to develop nuclear weapons in order to counter the growing threat of Iran, Israel’s defense minister warned.
“We see signs that countries in the Arab world are preparing to acquire nuclear weapons, that they are not willing to sit quietly with Iran on the brink of a nuclear or atomic bomb,” stated Moshe Ya’alon.
Ya’alon did not offer any specifics about which Arab countries may be seeking nuclear weapons.
Ya’alon said he believes Iran could abandon the nuclear accord and attempt to develop nuclear capabilities. “If at a certain stage they feel confident, particularly economically, they are liable to make a break for the bomb.”
Speaking to reporters after a recent meeting with Jordan’s King Abdullah, Ya’alon said Arab countries in the Middle East do not trust that Iran will abide by the international nuclear accord implemented last summer.
He said the Jewish state was closely monitoring Iran’s actions regarding the nuclear deal “because over many years the Iranians have been deceitful about their nuclear program.”
Last month, Breitbart Jerusalem reported an influential pro-government Saudi newspaper had recommended that the kingdom take immediate steps to join the nuclear club.
The Al-Riyadh daily urged the country’s leaders to begin establishing a “clear road map for a civilian nuclear program.” The goal should be to open the first Saudi nuclear reactor by 2030 – one year before most of the significant constraints on Iran’s nuclear program lapse.
Last May, the Sunday Times of London cited unnamed senior American officials claiming Saudi Arabia had “taken the ‘strategic decision’ to acquire ‘off-the-shelf’ atomic weapons from Pakistan.” The Saudi Defense Ministry rejected the claims.
In 2012, the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy, the Saudi nuclear body, recommended the kingdom install 17 gigawatts of nuclear power, but no plan has been publicly issued to meet that goal.
In March, Olli Heinonen, former deputy director of the U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency, told this reporter that the nuclear negotiations with Tehran had already prompted Mideast and Persian Gulf countries to seek a nuclear infrastructure.
He pointed out that Russia that same month inked a $10 billion deal to build a nuclear power plant in Jordan. Egypt last February signed a preliminary agreement with Russia for a nuclear plant. And the United Arab Emirates in 2009 finalized a $20 billion contract with Korea Electric Power Corporation for a power plant that is currently under construction.
Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.