Israel: The Arab nuclear-arms race has begun

posted at 8:41 pm on February 15, 2016 by Ed Morrissey

Who could have predicted that the deal John Kerry and Barack Obama cut with Iran would lead to a nuclear-arms race in the region? Well … everyone, really, especially since the deal frees Iran up after 15 years (or less) to openly pursue nuclear weapons, and gives them massive resources to covertly pursue them in the short run, too. Israel’s defense minister Moshe Ya’alon says that unnamed Sunni nations in the region have begun to prepare themselves for a nuclear Iran already, thanks to the deal:

Israel has picked up signs of the beginning of a nuclear arms race in the Middle East as Arab states seek nuclear weapons to counter Iran, the Israeli defence minister has warned.<

Moshe Ya’alon said Sunni Arab nations were not reassured by last year’s nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers and were making their own preparations for nuclear weapons.

“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 brink of a nuclear or atomic bomb,” Mr Ya’alon said.

“Acquire” could have two meanings. These immensely wealthy nations — Saudi Arabia, of course, but other emirates in the region as well — could spend money to create a native nuclear-weapons development program. It would be a lot easier to simply buy weapons from Pakistan, which has been a nuclear-armed nation for decades. It’s not as if the Pakistani defense establishment has been shy about sharing their secrets in the past, after all. It would be surprising if the Saudis and others haven’t already acquired the technology for a jump-start on an arms race, especially since it was clear for months that the Obama administration was ready to throw in the towel on isolating Iran.

The Telegraph mentions Israel’s role — of necessity, not choice — in determining just how well Iran adheres to the agreement. That makes them a key player for these same Sunni nations, and Benjamin Netanyahu wants them to acknowledge it. Speaking to a coalition of American Jewish groups, the prime minister insisted that some of these nations are covert allies of Israel, and with the threat from Iran looming, it’s time for those ties to become public:

Addressing the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, the prime minister maintained that most moderate Arab countries see Israel as their ally, not their enemy, as they share a common struggle against Iran and the Islamic State.

“Major Arab countries are changing their view of Israel … they don’t see Israel anymore as their enemy, but they see Israel as their ally, especially in the battle against militant Islam with its two fountainheads,” he said in English. “Now, this is something that is forging new ties, many of them discreet, some of them open. And I think there too we can expect and should expect and should ask to see a change.”

Er … don’t hold your breath on that one. Most of these Sunni nations have a substantial minority Shi’ite population, and any official link to Israel in opposition to Iran will inflame already-tense internal politics. Far better for Israel to maintain the “discreet” links and stabilize their security rather than risk a further meltdown in the region by demanding alliances be made public. Netanyahu knows this, too; this message is intended to remind Americans of Israel’s increasing strength in the chaos surrounding it, and hopefully to keep pressure on Washington not to interfere with it.


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Comments

Bye, Ed.

unclesmrgol on February 15, 2016 at 8:43 PM

No comment.

PolAgnostic on February 15, 2016 at 8:45 PM

refuse to sign up for Facebook.

No comment.

56andwarmweather on February 15, 2016 at 8:46 PM

New plan:

1) Launch bombing campaign against research facilities for long-range missiles in Middle-East

2) Send Israel $100 billion for Iron Dome research

3) Applause

TimesUp on February 15, 2016 at 8:48 PM

Hope the new Facebook friends are worth the ones you are losing.

Disturb the Universe on February 15, 2016 at 8:49 PM

That’s gotta be worth another Nobel Peace Prize!

And good bye Ed, from someone who was with you at Captain’s Quarters. Best of luck, but I don’t do Facebook. I am on disqus.

rbj on February 15, 2016 at 8:50 PM

Who could have predicted that the deal John Kerry and Barack Obama cut with Iran would lead to a nuclear-arms race in the region? Well … everyone, really

…most of us here on non-FB HotAir saw this coming a mile away and posted here on these non FB pages…

…DUH…

Pelosi Schmelosi on February 15, 2016 at 8:50 PM

Inbred Muslim Arabs with “The Bomb” – what could go wrong?

VorDaj on February 15, 2016 at 8:50 PM

Press 1 for diquis.
Press 2 for zukerbook

VorDaj on February 15, 2016 at 8:51 PM

…Newtie best be servin doubles tonite…

Pelosi Schmelosi on February 15, 2016 at 8:52 PM

Just say no to fascism, communism, islam and facebook.

VorDaj on February 15, 2016 at 8:52 PM

So long, and thanks for all the fish. I will not, under any circumstances, link my Facebook history to this site. You may not realize it, Ed, but there is a significant portion of the hard left that considers our kind the enemy, and they can and do target individuals.

Ask me how I know this.

ctwelve on February 15, 2016 at 8:53 PM

No comment.

NeoConNews on February 15, 2016 at 8:53 PM

the deal frees Iran up after 15 years (or less) to openly pursue nuclear weapons

Facebook, Macekook, you keep making this dumb point.

What, pray tell, made Iran not free to pursue nuclear weapons before the agreement?

You tacitly admit that the agreement binds Iran for years, and that’s your complaint?!

Iran was, is, and will be in 15 years, a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

corona79 on February 15, 2016 at 8:56 PM

Until we get some brains and guts in the White House, Israel is our only chance.

Cindy Munford on February 15, 2016 at 9:06 PM

No mention of how long and how often Israel’s being ringing this bell?

sandbun on February 15, 2016 at 9:07 PM

If you’re not digging the idea of Hot Air switching their comments over to FecesBook, click my nick, and register for another conservative discussion forum.

IronDioPriest on February 15, 2016 at 9:08 PM

Who could have predicted that the deal John Kerry and Barack Obama cut with Iran would lead to a nuclear-arms race in the region? Well … everyone, really, especially since the deal frees Iran up after 15 years (or less) to openly pursue nuclear weapons, and gives them massive resources to covertly pursue them in the short run, too.

So now it’s 15 years. Why start an arms race now if Iran isn’t going to get a nuke until 15 years from now? Ed and Benjamin Nut n’ Yahoo have insisted that Iran is just………………this…………close to getting a nuke. Now we have to wait another 15 years. Ed, do you ever get tired of crying wolf?

antifederalist on February 15, 2016 at 9:09 PM

@IronDioPriest, will look into it. On my iPad right now.

rbj on February 15, 2016 at 9:10 PM

Facebook, Macekook, you keep making this dumb point.

What, pray tell, made Iran not free to pursue nuclear weapons before the agreement?

You tacitly admit that the agreement binds Iran for years, and that’s your complaint?!

Iran was, is, and will be in 15 years, a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

corona79 on February 15, 2016 at 8:56 PM

I know. Ed has previously insisted that The Deal actually helps Iran get a nuke. Now they won’t have one until 15 years. And as you said, in 15 years Iran will still be bound to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Ed is not one to let facts get in the way of propagandizing Hot Airheads.

antifederalist on February 15, 2016 at 9:18 PM

Disqus.

Facebook.

No comment.

orangemtl on February 15, 2016 at 9:33 PM

Farewell, Ed. I’ll still read, but I won’t comment. I despise Facebook.

hachiban on February 15, 2016 at 9:35 PM

Israel’s defense minister Moshe Ya’alon says that unnamed Sunni nations in the region have begun to prepare themselves for a nuclear Iran already, thanks to the deal

He’s lying. Anyone in the middle east who could get nukes already wanted them because Israel had them.

Tlaloc on February 15, 2016 at 9:59 PM

…most of us here on non-FB HotAir saw this coming a mile away and posted here on these non FB pages…

…DUH…

Pelosi Schmelosi on February 15, 2016 at 8:50 PM

Israel is banking on your gullibility.

Tlaloc on February 15, 2016 at 10:01 PM

Ask me how I know this.

ctwelve on February 15, 2016 at 8:53 PM

But I don’t care…

Tlaloc on February 15, 2016 at 10:03 PM

Until we get some brains and guts in the White House, Israel is our only chance to start WWIII.

Cindy Munford on February 15, 2016 at 9:06 PM

FIFY

Tlaloc on February 15, 2016 at 10:05 PM

[Comment deleted, user banned — Ed]

gh on February 15, 2016 at 10:23 PM

Israel still trying to drag us into a war with Iran, I see.

rongoodman on February 15, 2016 at 10:25 PM

FIFY I am a sad and pathetic transgender who regrets exchanging my dick for these tits.

Tlaloc on February 15, 2016 at 10:05 PM

FIFY.

Mimzey on February 15, 2016 at 11:12 PM

Are they complaining about nuclear proliferation or boasting about their friends network?

Reminds me of the time a woman sent me a friend request, then when I clicked the wrong link and sent her one in return, denied she’d sent it in the first place.

The weird is strong with world leaders, female tango dancers and FB.

Seth Halpern on February 15, 2016 at 11:29 PM

Scalia is dead.

Heaven is a good place.

TitularHead on February 15, 2016 at 11:43 PM

Should have nuked Iran back in ’79.

Bubba Redneck on February 16, 2016 at 1:27 AM