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Is Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood Government Going to Develop Nuclear Weapons?

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COMMENT: Revis­it­ing the unnerv­ing prospect of the Egypt­ian Mus­lim Broth­er­hood’s devel­op­ing nuclear weapons, we access a fright­en­ing post high­light­ing some aspects of Mohamed Mor­si’s recent trip to Tehran.

The post excerpt­ed below high­lights Mor­si’s inten­tion to accel­er­ate Egyp­t’s peace­ful nuclear ener­gy pro­gram, leav­ing one to won­der if there will be some “derivatives”–nuclear weapons. (The post spells Mor­si’s name “Mursi”–transliterated Ara­bic often yields var­i­ous Eng­lish spellings.)

As we have seen at length over the years, the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood is an Islam­ic fas­cist orga­ni­za­tion allied with the Axis in World War II. After the war, the organization–like so many fas­cist cadres around the world–was put to work by West­ern intel­li­gence as an anti-com­mu­nist bul­wark.

Despite his reas­sur­ances after assum­ing office, Mor­si and the Broth­er­hood are cement­ing con­trol over every aspect of Egypt­ian life. Some key aspects of Broth­er­hood rule in Egypt:

  • Crit­ics accuse the Broth­er­hood of media cen­sor­ship.
  • The Broth­er­hood regime replaced the mil­i­tary lead­er­ship with their own select­ed offi­cers, one of whom wrote a paper oppos­ing U.S. pol­i­cy in the region.
  • Mor­si’s gov­ern­ment is mov­ing to con­trol the Egypt­ian judi­cia­ry, a maneu­ver crit­ics call a move to estab­lish total con­trol over Egypt­ian soci­ety.
  • This fol­lows on a series of bro­ken promis­es by the Broth­er­hood in Egypt, includ­ing their pledge not to run a pres­i­den­tial can­di­date and their state­ment that they would­n’t move to dom­i­nate par­lia­ment, both of which they have done.
  • The “mod­er­ate” Mor­si also called for the release from prison of Sheik Rah­man, linked to the 1993 World Trade Cen­ter attack.

“Egypt: The Mus­lim Broth­er­hood Bomb?” by Ray­mond Stock; The Gate­stone­In­sti­tute; 9/7/2012.

EXCERPT: “We [Egyp­tians] are ready to starve in order to own a nuclear weapon that will rep­re­sent a real deter­rent and will be deci­sive in the Arab-Israeli con­flict.” — Dr. Ham­di Has­san, Spokesman, Mus­lim Broth­er­hood Par­lia­men­tary Cau­cus, 2006

When Egyp­t’s first civil­ian, demo­c­ra­t­i­cal­ly elect­ed dictator,[1] Mohamed Mur­si became his coun­try’s first head of state to vis­it Iran since its own Islam­ic rev­o­lu­tion in 1979 for the annu­al meet­ing of the Non-Aligned Move­ment (NAM) on August 30, the two lead­ers might have gone beyond the sched­uled turnover of NAM’s lead­er­ship from Mur­si to Pres­i­dent Mah­moud Ahmadine­jad of Iran: they most prob­a­bly dis­cussed Egyp­t’s qui­et­ly reviv­ing dri­ve to acquire nuclear pow­er — pos­si­bly includ­ing nuclear weapons — and how Iran might be of help.

Since tak­ing office on June 30, Mur­si has report­ed­ly offered to renew diplo­mat­ic rela­tions with Tehran, sev­ered for more than three decades — but then repeat­ed­ly denied that he had planned to do so. His vis­it for the NAM con­fer­ence, how­ev­er, along with his sud­den recent pro­pos­al to set up a com­mit­tee of four nations includ­ing Egypt, Iran, Sau­di Ara­bia and Turkey to try to end the fight­ing in Syr­ia, and Egyp­t’s refusal to inspect an Iran­ian ship pass­ing through the Suez Canal en route to Syr­ia, all indi­cate that Cairo’s rela­tions with Tehran are improv­ing dynam­i­cal­ly. Mean­while, in advance of Mur­si’s arrival, Iran was said to have offered to assist Egypt in devel­op­ing a nuclear pro­gram.

Almost com­plete­ly over­looked in Mur­si’s warp-speed takeover of total state pow­er in Egypt since his elec­tion vic­to­ry, was that on July 8, the Min­istry of Elec­tric­i­ty and Ener­gy (MoEE) hand­ed him a fea­si­bil­i­ty study for the cre­ation of a nuclear pow­er plant at El-Dabaa in the Delta[2] — pos­si­bly the first of four nuclear pow­er plants around the coun­try, the last of which would be brought online by 2025, accord­ing to a plan announced by MoEE in spring 2011. (Under the plan, El-Debaa would reach criticality—become operational–in 2019.) While Mur­si has not yet announced his deci­sion on whether to pro­ceed with the projects, a num­ber of inter­na­tion­al com­pa­nies from Cana­da, Chi­na, France, Rus­sia, South Korea and the U.S. have expressed inter­est in the bid­ding for them. In his trip to Bei­jing just pri­or to head­ing for Tehran, Mur­si request­ed $3 bil­lion for “pow­er plants” from the Chi­nese, accord­ing to the geostrate­gic analy­sis firm Strat­for. Mean­while, the web­site israelhayom.com report­ed on August 30 that the pre­vi­ous day Mur­si had told a group of Egypt­ian expa­tri­ates liv­ing in Chi­na that he was con­sid­er­ing the revival of Egyp­t’s nuclear pow­er program.[3] Now comes the pos­si­bil­i­ty that Iran will trans­fer its nuclear capa­bil­i­ties to Egypt. As Stephen Man­u­al report­ed from Tehran on August 26 for the web­site allvoices.com:

“Man­sour Haqiqat­pour, a mem­ber [vice-chair­man] of the coun­try’s Com­mit­tee on Nation­al Secu­ri­ty and For­eign Pol­i­cy, told the state-run tele­vi­sion sta­tion, Press TV, that Iran also plans to invite heads of states to vis­it the coun­try’s nuclear facil­i­ties on side­lines of NAM sum­mit. The pur­pose of the vis­it is to counter the pro­pa­gan­da unleashed by West­ern coun­tries that Iran is devel­op­ing nuclear weapons. He said that Iran was ready to share expe­ri­ence and exper­tise on nuclear facil­i­ties with Egypt and there was no harm in it. One can eas­i­ly infer from the state­ment of Haqiqat­pour that Iran is indi­rect­ly urg­ing Egypt to go for the nuclear technology.[4]”

Iran lat­er denied that it had invit­ed any for­eign heads of state to vis­it any of its nuclear sites dur­ing the NAM conference—but not, appar­ent­ly, the offer to assist Egyp­t’s nuclear program.[5] Although in Tehran Mur­si also renewed Egyp­t’s long-stand­ing call for a Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zone in the Mid­dle East, since at least 2006 the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood (MB, in which Mur­si served as a major leader before his elec­tion) has called for Egypt to devel­op its own nuclear deterrent.[6] This view is so pop­u­lar that in an inter­view on the Cairo chan­nel ON-TV, on August 21, 2011, a retired Egypt­ian army gen­er­al, Abdul-Hamid Umran said that it was “absolute­ly nec­es­sary” for the nation’s secu­ri­ty to have “a nuclear pro­gram.” By this, he made clear, he did not mean a pure­ly civil­ian pro­gram to pro­duce elec­tric pow­er, to which Egypt is tech­ni­cal­ly enti­tled as a sig­na­to­ry to the Nuclear Non­pro­lif­er­a­tion Treaty (NPT). He said, rather, that Egypt should declare the pro­gram’s peace­ful pur­pos­es, and then sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly fool the inter­na­tion­al inspec­tors to achieve the need­ed lev­els of ura­ni­um enrich­ment to man­u­fac­ture bombs — cit­ing Iran as an exam­ple of how this can be done, and pro­vid­ing detailed steps to accom­plish it.[7] In anoth­er inter­view (for Egyp­t’s Tahrir-TV) on August 6, 2012, Umran again demand­ed that Egypt devel­op its own nuclear weapons, stress­ing that if Israel finds itself in a “dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion,” it would use its own nuclear shield: in that instance, Egypt must also have one to defend itself. The unmis­tak­able impli­ca­tion is that Egypt would need nuclear weapons against Israel’s expect­ed atom­ic retal­i­a­tion in the event that Egypt went to war against the Jew­ish State.[8]

Giv­en the MB’s extreme hos­til­i­ty to Israel, its anti-Semit­ic and anti-West­ern ide­ol­o­gy, and its recent, appar­ent­ly com­plete takeover of the mil­i­tary and the rest of state pow­er in Egypt, the pos­si­bil­i­ties raised are deeply unset­tling. . . .

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