Hva er det som kan stanse en oppvåkning i de arabiske landene, mot demokrati? Svar: At flere av landene blir nukleære. Verden kjenner mullahenes planer om å skaffe seg en nukleær opsjon. Men nå viser det seg at også Saudi-Arabia kan ha noe fore.
Saudi-Arabia har bedt IAEA om å benytte seg av en klausul i Ikkespredningsavtalen som angår små kvanta av uran: de landene som forplikter seg til bare å ha små kvanta slipper all inspeksjon fra IAEA. Det er en klausul mange ser faren ved, men ingenting er gjort for å lukke dette hullet i avtalen, skriver Reuters dyktige Louis Charbonneau fra Wien:
The United States is trying to persuade Saudi Arabia to drop its plan to sign an agreement that would severely curtail the United Nations’ ability to monitor any Saudi atomic activity, diplomats said on Wednesday.
The «small quantities protocol» is an accord states which say they have little or no nuclear material can sign with the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Diplomats close to the agency say it is a dangerous loophole in the IAEA inspection regime.
The protocol exempts NPT states from having to notify the IAEA of stocks of natural uranium of up to 10 tonnes, which experts say could be purified into fuel for at least one bomb.
One diplomat said this means that once a country has signed the protocol, U.N. inspectors virtually relinquish their authority to uncover any secret activities it is carrying out.
«The Americans are putting pressure on the Saudis to drop their plan to sign the small quantities protocol, but it’s unclear if the Saudis will agree,» a European diplomat told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
Saudi Arabia said earlier this month it had formally asked the IAEA to sign the protocol. The IAEA board will discuss the request in June, diplomats said.
If the Saudis do not voluntarily withdraw their request, it will be difficult for the board to turn it down without a formal change in policy regarding the protocol, something that would likely take months or years, diplomats said.
Earlier this year, Pakistan denied media reports that Abdul Qadeer Khan, the disgraced founder of Pakistan’s atomic weapons programme linked to a global nuclear black market, had sold Saudi Arabia nuclear technology usable in atomic weapons.