Iran's Nukes Are a Thorn for Saudi-Israeli Peace

(Wall Street Journal) Richard Goldberg - Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has reportedly made a joint U.S.-Saudi nuclear-enrichment program a top condition for a peace deal with Israel. This is untenable. The U.S. can't discount the potential for a future Saudi leader to use an industrial-scale enrichment infrastructure to produce fissile material as part of a nuclear weapons program. Once Saudi Arabia builds an enrichment program, Turkey and Egypt will want one too. A race to enrich throughout one of the world's most dangerous and unstable regions is a national-security recipe for disaster. But when any American tells a Saudi official that the U.S. can't support enrichment on Saudi soil, an obvious question comes back quickly: You're saying you can support an enrichment program in Iran, which is trying to kill Americans every day, but you can't support an enrichment program in Saudi Arabia, a close strategic partner? After all, the 2015 nuclear deal and subsequent negotiations have all but normalized illicit Iranian nuclear activity. The results of a policy that legitimizes enrichment on Iranian soil are on full display. Iran has raced over the past two years to produce enough near-weapons-grade enriched uranium to produce several nuclear bombs in a matter of weeks. The writer, a former National Security Council official, is a senior adviser at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

2023-08-17 00:00:00

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