The Muslim Brotherhood dominates the country’s politics nearly total. A study reveals how she criticized the passive nuclear policy of the government of Mubarak. Egypt to seek nuclear weapons?
By Hans Rühle
A few days ago, Raymond Stock, an American specialist in issues of the Middle East, a study with the provocative title “the bomb of the Muslim Brotherhood” was published. The first sentence of the study will then already into the middle of a so far largely unaddressed problem created by the takeover of power by the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt has emerged.
“We Egyptians are ready,” said Hamdi Hassan, spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood in the Egyptian parliament in 2006, “for their own nuclear weapons to starve to death … for nuclear weapons, which will be a genuine deterrent be crucial in the Arab-Israeli conflict.”
But that was not all that on the joint meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Relations, Arab affairs, defense and national security 4 July 2006 makes it a key event of the Egyptian nuclear policy. Because Hamdi Hassan to put. He compared Egypt to Pakistan, whose nuclear weapons program had been initiated by the Indian nuclear test of 1974.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Abu al-Ghaith directly appealing, Hassan further stated: “You remind me of Youssef Wali, who advised the Egyptians to grow melons instead of grain crops is just as good as a necessary strategic nuclear weapons.”. But the attack of the Muslim Brotherhood on the passive nuclear policy limited the Mubarak government is not limited to the direct demands for nuclear weapons. Massive criticism of the Muslim Brotherhood was also directed against Egypt for many years favored policy in the Middle East a zone free of weapons of mass destruction to establish.
Nuclear weapons are the order of the day
“Is it realistic and diplomatically useful,” said Ahmad Diyyab, another member of parliament of the Muslim Brotherhood, “a zone free to ask for weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East in the face of relentless enemy (Israel), who has no intention of ever in the decisions of international to hold community? ”
A policy that consists only of the call for the establishment of a WMD-free zone, rich, therefore not enough to secure Egypt’s national interests. Nuclear weapons are the order of the day.
This was complemented by the increasing political scene and outspoken criticism of the Muslim Brotherhood in the opposition of the Mubarak government concerning Iran’s nuclear program. In April 2006, Mohammed Habib, the deputy spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. “I have no problem with that equip Iran with nuclear weapons, Iranian nuclear weapons, so Habib continues, are a necessary balance to the Israeli potential.
“I believe that it is unreasonable that Israel is the only country in the region with currently 200 nuclear warheads.” Incidentally, so Habib finally, he had. On the issue of nuclear arms, the majority of the Egyptian people on its side
“Enemies spread terror”
Habib that this opinion was not entirely wrong, surveys show from the years 2006-2008. For example, a 2006 survey conducted by Pew, 40 percent of the Egyptian population emanated from the fact that Iran produces nuclear weapons, 44 percent saw this development positively.
2008, the data collected were nearly identical. When asked what Iran will do with these weapons, 30 percent answered, Iran would attack Israel, 45 percent said Iran would not use the weapon, but enlarge its sphere of influence with them.
The most recent public demand from the ranks of the Muslim Brotherhood to equip Egypt with nuclear weapons was released in 2009, as the chief legal officer of the worldwide organization, Shaykh Yusuf al-Quaradawi, during an in qatarischen televised prayer meeting called on the Muslim states to nuclear armament “to our enemies in “to put fear and terror.
This language was not unusual for al-Quaradawi. He, the 28th, after forty years of exile and returned to Egypt as guest of honor at the ceremony on Had been celebrated in February 2011 was, 2009 called on all Muslims, the Jews to “punish” as Hitler had it is done with the Holocaust.
If the Muslim Brotherhood in the years after barely spoke publicly to the point, it does not mean that the organization had changed their opinion since 2006, vigorously advocated. The reason lay in the decision of the Mubarak government to operate the civilian use of nuclear energy to be active again.
This decision was essentially come under pressure from the Muslim Brotherhood about and meant at least an entry into the first phase of a later possible civilian nuclear program.
Nuclear program started in 1954
That these considerations are not limited to the Muslim Brotherhood remained, was on 21 August 2011, when a retired Egyptian army general named Abdul Hamid Umran on television was of the opinion that it was for Egypt’s security “absolutely necessary” to a “nuclear program” have. He made it clear that there could not go to a purely civilian program.
Egypt was, as claimed by Iran, a peaceful program and simultaneously perform a military. On 6 August 2012 submitted to the General. Egypt desperately need nukes to in case of a war initiated by Egypt to neutralize Israel’s nuclear arsenal.
The severity of the recent comments on the declaratory nuclear policy of the Muslim Brotherhood is not hard to see: the Muslim Brotherhood is now no longer just a quantitatively strong force in the Egyptian parliament, but dominated the country’s politics nearly total, and probably for the foreseeable future. In addition, however, is what has remained largely unknown in the Western public: Egypt has not only very advanced civilian nuclear program, it has operated for many years a genuine nuclear weapons program.
Egypt’s nuclear program began in 1954, as the country with the Soviet Union signed an agreement to build a small research reactor (2 MW) in the Nile Delta closed. In 1961, the reactor – called ETRR-1 – operational. As fuel to 10 percent enriched uranium was 235 Soviet-made. The reactor, however, were too small to produce a significant amount of weapons-grade material can.
Uranium from Russia and Argentina
When the Israeli government in December 1960, announcing the construction of a nuclear reactor in Dimona, was the Egyptians quickly clear where the nuclear trip went. In his much-quoted speech of 23 December 1960, the then Egyptian President Nasser that if Israel was developing nuclear weapons, Egypt will do the same.
Accordingly, even under Nasser, the development of nuclear weapons was considered. Even before this, however, all important decisions are made and preparatory actions could be carried out, the catastrophic defeat came in the Six Day War in 1967. Policy elites and people of Egypt were deeply demoralized.
1968 signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, the country (the ratification was however only in 1981), after which the relevant activities focused again on the civilian use of nuclear energy. 1975, however, the United States and Egypt, a preliminary agreement for the construction of eight nuclear power plants. The project failed.
The peace treaty between Israel and Egypt in 1979, finally confirmed the desire for a purely civilian nuclear program. Early nineties Egypt closed a contract with Argentina over the construction of a light water reactor with a capacity of 22 MW. In 1998, the reactor was critical. Fuelled -. Under the name ETRR-2 – enriched to 19.75 percent uranium-235, which was initially from Russia, subsequently supplied by Argentina
Nuclear experts remember to Iran
With the inclusion of ETRR-2, which can provide 6 kg of plutonium per year (enough for a warhead), the current problems start with the Egyptian nuclear program. Firstly, it is unclear how much plutonium has been produced and in what condition it is stored where. On the other hand discovered the Vienna International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) 2004 traces of highly enriched uranium in the Egyptian nuclear facilities.
2005, the IAEA accused the authorities concretely in Egypt, having concealed the import of uranium and a number of specific experiments and in this material from 1990 to 2003 in breach of contract. 2007 and 2008, the IAEA was again highly enriched uranium and registered unauthorized activities in Egyptian nuclear facilities.
Many nuclear expert recalls, in this situation to the situation in Iran, when the IAEA also initially found the first traces of highly enriched uranium, which eventually led to the fatal knowledge of a secret, large-scale nuclear arms deal between Pakistan and Iran.
So far, the program should be modest
Against this background, in recent years, the Mubarak regime grew not only doubts about the reluctance of the military use of nuclear energy, the information published by WikiLeaks remarks in May 2008 that his country would respond to the military nuclearization of Iran with similar activities opened, at least new for interpretation in terms of what actually went into Egyptian nuclear facilities before him – and goes.
This is not altered by the fact that the Egyptian government since 1990 for the establishment of a zone free of weapons of mass destruction used in the Middle East. This activity should both put pressure on Israel to sign the NPT, inspections permit and dismantle its nuclear weapons potential, on the other, for an extensive civilian nuclear program much needed donors should a peaceable, nuclear innocent country are presented, although Egypt refused – and refuses to this day – the IAEA Additional Protocol, which allows unannounced inspections at any location to sign it.
Although it is unclear to what extent Egypt has in recent decades actively involved in the development of nuclear weapons, which have always limited funds indicate a modest nuclear weapons program. In other words, just a lack of money has prevented likely that Egypt has not embarked on a major civilian and military nuclear programs.
Nuclear plans could change under Mursi
But this could change under the new president Mohammed Mursi. This has on all previous trips, the opportunity and the general good will towards him used to acquire money for “power plants”. So he has occasion.’s Visit to China, which he had taken shortly before his trip to Tehran, requested $ 3 billion, in order, he should have declared in an interview with Egyptian exile to revive the Egyptian nuclear program
A substantial contribution to this will probably contribute Saudi Arabia. Qatar has now also pledged $ 2 billion emergency aid and future investments in the amount of $ 18 billion. No wonder, then, companies from Canada, China, France, Russia, Korea and the U.S. have signaled their interest in developing the Egyptian nuclear program – and this despite Mursi has not announced any decision on the merits.
Of course, nowhere in all these discussions of the nuclear issue. It’s probably hard to believe that Saudi Arabia and Qatar would contribute funds for this purpose.
Iran’s offer only militarily useful
If, however, Iran has been offered prior to the visit of Mursi Egypt help in developing a nuclear program, then you may be thinking. Because in the field of peaceful use of nuclear energy, Iran has nothing to offer, what Egypt, which according to its Atomic Energy Agency has over 1200 highly skilled nuclear scientists, do not have or can.
The offer of Iran does so only in the context of a military nuclear program meaning. There is, moreover, no reason to believe that the Iranian offer to Egypt should be worse than the one that Khamenei has made 2006 a Sudanese delegation. With a clear reference to nuclear weapons, Khamenei said at the time that his country was “ready to transfer the experience, knowledge and technical skills of its scientists …”.
Interesting in this context is the statement by Magdi Hussein from April 2011. The leader of the Islamic Labour Party in the Egyptian parliament reported that he had discussed with Ali Akbar Salehi, the Iranian foreign minister, the issue of Iranian support for the enrichment of uranium. Salehi later confirmed the meeting on Arab television as saying that Iran’s successful nuclear program “could pave the way for similar projects arabic”
Mursi has never positioned against claims
The fact that Mursi, he remains only a short time in office is silent on the earlier claims of the Muslim Brotherhood for nuclear weapons so far, says nothing about its future policy. However, it is important to note that Mursi has never seen positioned against these claims.
Even the Muslim Brotherhood expresses currently no longer a problem of the military use of nuclear energy. Henry Sokolski, director of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center in Washington believed “tactical” silence, “to please the Western public.” One should, however, so further Sokolski, the not too distant past utterances of the Muslim Brotherhood is not forgotten.
“They might be what appears to be a later time.” Perhaps this period is shorter than many believe. Because the positive assessment of the Egyptian people to develop their own nuclear weapons continues unabated.
A survey from May 2012 revealed that in case of a military nuclearization of Iran, 61 percent of respondents welcome a similar action by their government. Domestically, the issue of nuclear weapons for Egypt Mursi hence carries no risk. On the contrary. There are not too many political issues on the current agenda, where the situation is so clearly opinion.
“Starvation until we have our own bomb”
The initially rendered to the spokesperson of the Muslim Brotherhood in parliament, Hamdi Hassan, after which the Egyptians were prepared to “starve for their own nuclear weapons to the death”, evokes memories of the fateful year of 1965. At that time, Zulfikar Bhutto, Pakistan’s foreign minister, vowed: “If India builds the bomb, we will eat grass … even hungry until we have our own bomb.” The result is known.
Ten years after Bhutto’s announcement began Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program. Another 10 years later, the first explosive device was available. If it still took until 1998 in order to perform the first test, then it was only on the pressure of the United States.
Even though the story, the history of nuclear, not necessarily repeated, there is merit to take the frightening statements of the Muslim Brotherhood to seriously from 2006. The Israelis need this advice probably not anyway.