CAIRO: Mohamed El Baradei, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), criticized the recent arms deal between the United States and Middle East countries including Egypt, Israel and Saudi Arabia.
According to local newspapers, in an interview with Austrian magazine Profile, El Baradei said that Washington’s strategy of helping build arms cache in countries such as Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia will not help improve the security situation in the Middle East.
But senior researcher at Al Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies Emad Gad disagreed. “The arms deal between the US and some Middle Eastern countries is traditional and this does not pertain to nuclear weapons that threaten the world, he told Daily News Egypt.
“Any country buys defense weapons to protect itself, so if he [El Baradei] disapproves then he should criticize arms deals all over the world, not only in the Middle East.
El Baradei suggested that such resources are better used in development projects. He added “it might end up with a situation close to a cold war, did this help security and stability before? No, it didn’t.
Gad, however, said that the spread of nuclear weapons programs – rather than traditional weapons – is more worthy of El Baradei s attention.
The spokesperson of the IAEA, Melissa Fleming, confirmed what El Baradei said, but the interview was not posted on the Agency’s website.