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Arab states are seeking nuclear weapons to counter Iran, Israel warns


Defence minister Moshe Ya’alon says his country is seeing signs of a much-feared nuclear arms race in the Middle East

By Raf Sanchez, Jerusalem

2:01PM GMT 14 Feb 2016

Israel has picked up signs of the beginning of a nuclear arms race in the Middle East as Arab states seek nuclear weapons to counter Iran, the Israeli defence minister has warned.

Moshe Ya’alon said Sunni Arab nations were not reassured by last year’s nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers and were making their own preparations for nuclear weapons.

“We see signs that countries in the Arab world are preparing to acquire nuclear weapons, that they are not willing to sit quietly with Iran on brink of a nuclear or atomic bomb,” Mr Ya’alon said.

The defence minister gave no evidence to back up his claims but Israel closely monitors the military activities of its Arab neighbours.

Israel and the Sunni Gulf countries do not have diplomatic ties but are known to talk through back channels and are united in their opposition to Iran.