Israel’s defense minister said a nuclear arms race is under way in the Middle East as Sunni Arab states seek to counter Shiite Iran post-nuclear deal.
Moshe Ya’alon said Sunday that Sunni Arab states are unsettled following last year’s nuclear deal between Tehran and six world powers, but declined to elaborate, The Telegraph reports.
“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,” he said.
Israel and its Sunni Gulf allies, who have cooperated and grown closer than ever before in recent years, are known to talk through back channels. Their relationships are a result of a united front against Iran, despite not having official diplomatic ties.
Supporters of the nuclear deal, such as President Obama, have argued that it rolls back Iran’s nuclear capabilities.
Ya’alon believes Iran can break the agreement as their economic situation improves with the lifting of crippling international sanctions, and said Israel was following the situation closely “because over many years the Iranians have been deceitful about their nuclear program.”
“If at a certain stage they feel confident, particularly economically, they are liable to make a break for the bomb,” he said.