Saudi Arabia in the 21st Century: A New Security Dilemma
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA CENTER FOR CONTEMPORARY CONFLICT
Pagination or Media Count:
Throughout much of 2003, 2004 and 2005, the international community has watched in morbid fascination as Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency IAEA waltzed through a halting, reluctant slow-dance, with each side alternately pushing the other away in response to unwanted entreaties, only to re-embrace in the halting partnership. Chaperoning the encounter is the European Community acting as a supportive partner, with the United States and Israel in a more threatening guise. The song is still playing, though it remains unclear whether the two sides will decide to stay until the end of the dance. Many interested parties await the outcome the Israelis, the United States, and indeed the entire Middle East. While the international community remains rightfully transfixed by the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran, another concern now shimmers on regional radar screens. Periodic press reporting throughout 2003-05 asserts that Saudi Arabia is also seriously considering the acquisition of nuclear weapons as part of a general reexamination reexamination of the assumptions that have driven the kingdoms quest for security over the last 50 years. The latest reporting indicates that the Saudis have begun talks with the IAEA about its Small Quantities Protocol. As it has for other states, the protocol would allow the Saudis to admit the possession of allowable quantities of uranium and plutonium and provide requisite assurances that the material was not stored in a nuclear facility. Under the protocol, the material would not be subjected to routine IAEA inspections.
- Government and Political Science
- Nuclear Weapons