Friday, October 19, 2007

An Islamic Nuclear Race?

by Peter Glover from Energy Tribune

A. F. Alhajji, professor of energy economics at Ohio Northern University and expert on Middle East energy markets, says; "The recent economic boom in the Gulf brought its own problems: higher income, growing populations, increased numbers of expatriates…and expansion of petrochemicals has increased the demand for electricity to unprecedented levels." ... Since September 2006, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, U.A.E., Morocco and Jordan each announced plans to obtain nuclear energy “for peaceful purposes.” In addition, Algeria signed with Russia and Libya signed with France in deals for nuclear development/cooperation. While the threat from electricity shortages is genuine, King Abdullah of Jordan intimated why so many states in the region are pursuing nuclear. “The rules have changed on the nuclear subject throughout the region,” he said in early 2007. Thus, it appears that the Middle East’s nuclear surge is being fueled by both economic expediency and sectarian fear.

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