Why Tehran must never have a nuclear weapon

Why Tehran must never have a nuclear weapon

Why Tehran must never have a nuclear weapon
The atomic enrichment facilities at Natanz nuclear research center, some 300 kilometres south of capital Tehran, can be seen. (File/AFP)
Short Url

Saudi Arabia has condemned Iran’s behavior in general, and the regime’s efforts to obtain a nuclear bomb in particular, following Tehran’s failure to cooperate with the UN agency that monitors its nuclear program. This condemnation is shared by the wider region, which is watching as the Islamic Republic’s criminal activities provoke crises and threaten stability in the Gulf.

Tehran’s threat leaves the entire world at risk because of the Gulf’s vital importance to security and the global economy. After more than a decade, it is no longer acceptable for the world to stand by and watch Iran’s nuclear efforts without tightening its grip on the project, which poses a great danger in view of Iranian behavior, which has been anything but peaceful since the country’s revolution.

Saudi Arabian concerns over Iran’s dealings with International Atomic Energy Agency came after the Tehran regime initially refused to allow new memory cards to be installed in surveillance cameras monitoring its nuclear sites, prompting accusations that Iran had been stonewalling the agency’s investigations and impeding its activities.

Effective monitoring of Iran’s nuclear program is essential if there is to be any possible agreement between Iran and world powers. However, as any experienced Iran observer will know, the latest issue is simply part of a game to gain time, a card that Tehran is playing with the international community as part of its quest to build a nuclear weapon.

Tehran’s destabilizing efforts are numerous, ranging from its support for terrorist militias and harboring members of terror groups to the supplying of ballistic missiles and drones to militants in the region. Alongside this runs the regime’s ugly human rights record. The failure to hold Iran responsible for these flagrant violations of international norms and laws means Tehran now believes it is beyond accountability, which encourages the regime to pursue its nuclear ambitions.

That is why the Kingdom voiced concerns about Iran’s non-compliance with the nuclear safeguards agreement and its lack of transparency with the IAEA, since this constitutes a threat to the agency and affects the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.

Tehran’s destabilizing efforts are numerous, ranging from its support for terrorist militias and harboring members of terror groups to the supplying of ballistic missiles and drones to militants in the region. 

Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri

Saudi Arabia supports all international efforts to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, as well as the development of a nuclear non-proliferation regime in the region and the world. The Kingdom has repeatedly called for action on the nuclear threat and for the Middle East to be free of nuclear weapons.

In this regard, Saudi Arabia highlighted the importance of fully implementing the 1995 resolution on the establishment of a nuclear weapon-free zone in the Middle East.

Riyadh also adheres to a national policy that guarantees the highest standards of transparency, credibility and security. It is also working on developing peaceful uses of nuclear technology in various fields, including a national nuclear energy project.

Saudi Arabia held talks with several other countries at the IAEA general conference in Vienna last week, including the US delegation led by Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm.

There is no doubt that benefiting from nuclear energy is of great importance, but ignoring regimes that refuse to observe international laws and spread devastation is as dangerous as the nuclear bomb itself. The international community must fulfil its responsibilities and not allow Tehran to possess nuclear weapons — or else it will be lost.

Iran and the world powers have abandoned their greatest responsibilities in the region, a failure that may, in turn, lead to wars and conflicts whose consequences will be catastrophic and extend beyond the region itself.

  • Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri is a political analyst and international relations scholar. Twitter: @DrHamsheri
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Arab News' point-of-view