By 2006, members of the Muslim Brotherhood began advocating for a nuclear weapons program. Dr. Hamdi Hassan, a Muslim Brotherhood spokesperson, stated that Egyptians “are ready to starve” to obtain a nuclear weapon. Similarly, Saad Al Husseyni, another Muslim Brotherhood representative, suggested thatEgypt develop a “strong and deterrent military power,” arguing that…nuclear weapons would be more effective…than promoting a nuclear weapons-free zone.In 2009, Muslim Brotherhood MP Dr. Ibrahim Al-Ja’afari called for the militarization of Egypt’s nuclear program….
Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, who called for Israel’s destruction in a speech to a million followers in Tahrir Square soon after Mubarak’s overthrow, is the global leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. In 2009, Shay notes, Qaradawi said Muslim countries needed to possess nuclear weapons “in order to strike terror in our enemies.”
The possibility of Egypt going for nuclear weapons should, first of all, add to the urgency of stopping Iran. Doing so would give Morsi’s regime the message that the West has the resolve to protect itself and plans similar to Iran’s should be shelved. Failing to stop Iran would not only, of course, mean failing to discourage Egypt but also a raft of other countries likely to join a Middle East nuclear arms race including Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and smaller Gulf states.
As for Western firms, and their governments, that perceive opportunities in a possible revival of Egypt’s nuclear program, one hopes the recent display of a besieged U.S. embassy in Cairo, and Morsi’s weak and temporizing response, would induce second thoughts about the rationality of selling this regime the rope with which to hang its proclaimed ideological enemy—the West. As Netanyahu put it on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday: “You want these fanatics to have nuclear weapons?”
By “fanatics,” of course, he was referring both to zealots out in the streets and to the sort of zealots who are not hard to find in regimes themselves.
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