‘Transferring nuclear tech to Saudi is most destabilizing development’
The U.S. President Donald Trump is rushing to transfer sensitive nuclear power technology to Saudi Arabia, according to a new congressional report.
To shed more light on the consequences of such act, we reached out to Nader Entessar, professor emeritus of political science from university of South Alabama.
Following is the full text of our interview with him:
Q: What can be the consequences of such an act for the region?
A: As the recently-released report of the U.S. House of Representative's Committee on Oversight and Reform indicated, selling and transferring sensitive nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia could allow that country to produce nuclear weapons and thus contribute to a potential nuclear arms race in an already unstable region. Transferring sensitive nuclear technology to the al-Saud regime will be the most destabilizing and dangerous development in the long and cozy relationship between Washington and Riyadh.
Q: As the Saudi Kingdom is the main sponsor of Takfiri extremism all around the world, what can be consequences of such act globally?
A: At a minimum, such an act will embolden the Takfiri groups to accelerate their terrorist activities in the region and beyond. They may reason that since their chief sponsor is on its way to becoming a nuclear power with added muscle, it is safer for them to put their criminal acts in overdrive.
Q: The U.S. is committed to Israeli regime’s security. Can such a move create possible threats to the security of Tel Aviv despite current cooperation between Riyadh and Tel Aviv?
A: One of the pillars of Israeli foreign policy in the region is preventing the emergence of another nuclear-capable state in the region. In other words, Israel's regional foreign policy emphasizes that country's nuclear monopoly and supremacy. Notwithstanding close Israeli-Saudi ties, Israel will not welcome the development of nuclear weapons capability in Saudi Arabia. Such a development will challenge the burgeoning relations between these two regional hegemons.
Q: Comparing the U.S. reaction to the Saudi missile and nuclear programs with its reaction to Iran’s ones, isn’t the U.S. policy enjoying double standard?
A: Of course, it is. But this is not the point. Washington's regional foreign policy has always been characterized by double standards. There are many reasons countries pursue certain foreign policy goals. Fairness, even-handedness, and morality are not among them.
Q: What is Trump after in the region by such destabilizing acts?
A: Transferring sensitive nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia without a proper review by Congress may indeed be a violation of the U.S. Atomic Energy Act let alone its destabilizing regional impact. But the Trump administration's obsession with undermining Iran's interests and national security has led to adopt irrational foreign policy decisions that will have unsavory consequences in the long run.
Q: How do you see Trump's son in law role in selling sensitive nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia.
A: The report by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform does indeed allude to the role of Jared Kushner in this episode. It also indicates that strong private commercial interests have been pushing for the sale of sensitive U.S. nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia for their own private gains. Iron Bridge Group In., a subsidiary of IP3, has been one of these private entities, which through its "advisor" General Michael Flynn has been a key proponent of the nuclear technology sale to Saudi Arabia. In other words, several influential private individuals and groups with strong ties to the Trump administration have been working on this scheme for some time now.
Source: Tehran Times