Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Saudi Arabia: If Iranian activates its first nuclear reactor at Bushehr, it may be a Second Fukushima

Saudi and Kuwait officials have warned the US that if Iran activates its first nuclear reactor at Bushehr in May as planned, there is a good chance it will blow up and the entire Gulf region suffer a nuclear disaster on the scale of the misfortune at Japan's Fukushima and expose millions to radiation contamination.

This issue was urgently raised in recent Saudi-US talks – first on April 4 with US Defense Secretary Robert Gates and again Monday, April 11, with the National Security Adviser to the US President Tom Donilon.

The two high-level US official visits to Riyadh in six days attest to the fierce discord between Saudi King Abdullah and the administration - not just over Iran and its nuclear activity but the entire gamut of US Middle East policy.

Our sources add that the Abbasi statement clearly held Moscow responsible for any potential nuclear disaster that may beset the Iranian facility. It also confirmed the Saudi claim. Riyadh has accordingly demanded that Washington act without delay and by all means possible to prevent Bushehr going on line next month according to plan.
Such US action would be diametrically opposed to the Obama administration's Iran policy at present. However, failure to meet the Saudi demand will deepen the acute crisis in Saudi-US relations and mistrust sparked by the overthrow of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak - with effect on other related issues such as Yemen and even Pakistan.