Trading/Commercial Co-operationThey may not have the scientific, technical expertise, but it can be bought. They have the financial wherewithal. And there are countries, like Muslim Pakistan, like rogue North Korea, both of which nations are desperate for economic benefit, who will gladly sell the secrets of nuclear technology to the highest bidder. And Saudi Arabia and Qatar can bid high. Both are awash with treasury shovelled to them by Europe and North America, eager to consume fossil fuel energy they have in abundance.
It's doubtful that either of these Sunni Muslim countries would be interested in acquiring their own nuclear programs. Under other circumstances than what currently prevail. What need do they really have of acquiring energy from nuclear sources when they have at their disposal, both for home consumption and for sale abroad, some of the world's greatest stores of petroleum products? For these countries nuclear plant installation is a kind of insurance, a deterrence.
It was only a matter of time. North Korea's insistence on acquiring nuclear capability the better to allow it to spout the rhetoric of violent intentions, threatening the world's first nuclear-owning country and still though with declining influence and power, representing the world's only super-power, has galvanized other rogue countries because of the attention and the prestige that nuclear guarantees.
Two pariah states working in tandem; the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Peoples' Republic of North Korea, each with a similar goal, both sharing a common enemy, each determined to prevail as is their right as they presume, against a world condemning them for their flagrant disdain for stability. Both these countries have frail economies and they have chosen to sacrifice the needs of their people against the state's perceived need to have the power of threat and deterrence.
"However, minimal (International Atomic Energy Agency) safeguards are in place in SA [Saudi Arabia] to verify peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and it has refused to accept strengthened safeguards. Many observers question SA's nuclear intentions, especially if Iran were to acquire a nuclear weapons capability. As a result, SA does not meet Canada's requirements for nuclear co-operation", reads an official Government of Canada briefing note.
This presents as a moral dilemma for Canada, a nuclear-plant producing country, but a country that has chosen not to arm itself with nuclear weapons. Because Canada relies on trade opportunities with other consuming countries of the world to grow its economy, it is anxious to expand trade in all areas, beyond its traditional trading partners. Canada supplied India with its first nuclear reactor, never realizing that India was intent on becoming one of the world's nuclear-armament nations.
In India, with its huge population second only to China, rural peasants still plant, plow and reap their field crops by hand; poverty is widespread and endemic, as it is also in China, though both countries are slowly emerging into nations aspiring to bring all their people out of extreme existential need. Canada has latterly resumed its nuclear agreements with India. And planned to accommodate Saudi Arabia with nuclear co-operation.
Now it has become common knowledge, when before it was merely aspirational in nature, that Saudi Arabia and likely Qatar will seek to become owners of their own nuclear arsenals, in fear of Shiite Iran's intention to hastily amass a nuclear armament arsenal of its own. Iran has threatened the State of Israel repeatedly with annihilation repeatedly and publicly. Leading Israel to believe that it is under threat of existence should Iran realize its nuclear ambitions.
It is in this geographical theatre of social, religious and political chaos that Canada must reconsider its nuclear co-operation relationships in the Middle East. The export of Canadian nuclear technology and materiel such as uranium must not come at the price of helping to contribute to the spread of nuclear weapons ownership. All the more so in traditional geographies fraught with tribal and religious tensions, constantly in flux and conflict.