Friday, November 02, 2007

Saudi Plan for Nuclear Enrichment

The Saudis have boggled my mind again.

"We have proposed a solution, which is to create a consortium for all users of enriched uranium in the Middle East," Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal told the Middle East Economic Digest (MEED).

"The U.S. is not involved, but I don't think it (would be) hostile to this, and it would resolve a main area of tension between the West and Iran," he told the London-based weekly.

"(We will) do it in a collective manner through a consortium that will distribute according to needs, give each plant its own necessary amount, and ensure no use of this enriched uranium for atomic weapons," Prince Saud said, according to MEED's Web site.

Prince Saud, speaking on Thursday during a visit to Britain, said Iran was considering the offer, which envisages building a plant in a neutral country.

"We believe it should be in a neutral country -- Switzerland, for instance," said Prince Saud. "Any plant in the Middle East that needs enriched uranium would get its quota. I don't think other Arab states would refuse. In fact ... other Arab countries have expressed a desire to be part of the proposal."

The amount of points this plan misses. This sounds like something a ten year old child would come up with. I can't see any way that a consortium in Switzerland is better than a consortium in Russia. I'm reaching the point where I don't explain Saudi actions in terms of strategy. They have a leadership cadre that just isn't bright or talented.

It is possible that there is more to this proposal though. Of course Iran is not going to suspend much less disavow permanently uranium enrichment on Iranian soil for this.

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