Steven A. Cook

From the Potomac to the Euphrates

Cook examines developments in the Middle East and their resonance in Washington.

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Don’t Fear a Nuclear Arms Race in the Middle East

by Steven A. Cook
Iran's President Ahmadinejad speaks during a ceremony at the Natanz nuclear enrichment facility (Caren Firouz/Courtesy Reuters) Iran's President Ahmadinejad speaks during a ceremony at the Natanz nuclear enrichment facility (Caren Firouz/Courtesy Reuters)

This article was originally published here on ForeignPolicy.com on Monday, April 3, 2012. 

On March 21, Haaretz correspondent Ari Shavit wrote a powerful op-ed in the New York Times that began with this stark and stunning claim: “An Iranian atom bomb will force Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Egypt to acquire their own atom bombs.” Indeed, it has become axiomatic among Middle East watchers, nonproliferation experts, Israel’s national security establishment, and a wide array of U.S. government officials that Iranian proliferation will lead to a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. President Barack Obama himself, in a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) last month, said that if Iran went nuclear, it was “almost certain that others in the region would feel compelled to get their own nuclear weapon.” Read more »