There seems to be a different wind blowing from US as President Donald Trump is gearing to meet to his November 2020 elections,  and has dropped a signal, that its greatest and oldest ally in Middle-East, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) , has been accused of pursuing a nuclear-dream which can never be accepted by Israel-which unofficially has more than 300 stockpiles of nuclear warheads, as was ascertained by defense experts when Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu had abruptly withdrawn from the nuclear-summit in Washington on October 4, 2010 1 .

Even as the dust of the mushroom cloud enveloping Beirut on August 4, 2020, which found hundreds killed and property worth billions of USD gutted, which had come from a bomb or a rocket, as put by Lebanon President  Michel Aoun on August 7, 2020 2 , was underway, that a news from Wall Street Journal  3 on the same day (on August 4, 2020) has broken that Saudi Arabia is pursuing nuclear-weapons with the help of China.  The same story was carried by New York Times 4, which claimed , ‘Spy (US) agencies in recent weeks circulated a classified analysis about the efforts underway inside Saudi Arabia, working with China, to build industrial capacity to produce nuclear fuel. The analysis has raised alarms that there might be secret Saudi-Chinese efforts to process raw uranium into a form that could later be enriched into weapons fuel, according to American officials. As part of the study, they have identified a newly completed structure near a solar-panel production area near Riyadh, the Saudi capital, that some government analysts and outside experts suspect could be one of a number of undeclared nuclear sites’. It may be mentioned here that Donald Trump has already hedged twice that Beirut was attacked by a bomb  5 and Richard Silverstein in his blog has written Israel Bombed Beirut 6 .

Beirut has changed beyond its shape and has just added to the list as to what has happened in Middle-East in the last two-decades as Iraq had been torn apart, Libya is devastated, Syria is a death-zone, Yemen is beyond recognition, and the last years have shown only death, destruction, devastation and mayhem in the whole of Arab world, with the exception of Israel which has straddled to more and more power. Remember how George W Bush had accused Saddam Hussein of amassing Weapons of Mass Destruction, when there were none, and the same was done to Colonel Qaddafi who had aspired to pursue nuclear weapons, and the bad omen, now conveys that KSA is pursuing the deathly dream!

Have the doomsayers started to campaign against KSA, which is home to Islamic holiest shrines, as no sooner the story was broken, the news of Saudi nexus with China over its nuclear-agenda, has started to be getting discussed and there is hardly a news channel in Europe or US not panelling its experts on the subject, and intelligence agencies have been put into exercise to dish out real and fake news, and thereafter to hound the Saudi establishment for the alleged programme, particularly, when MbS, the heir apparent, on March 15, 3018 7, had called that if Iran was to acquire a nuclear-bomb Saudi Arabia would follow-suit. He had also in the same interview likened Ayatullah Khamenei, the spiritual head of Iran as Hitler, for Iran espoused an expansionist agenda.  Was that an independent statement from MbS or was he forced by the US dictates as that is how Washington holds sway in KSA? But, has now the tide got strained?  The reason is not that simple, the strategy is to splodge China as China has entered into a 400 billion USD ‘military and trade’ deal with Iran on July 13, 2020 8.  The message is through for Iran so as not to play with China as China is clandestinely involved into making KSA get to a nuclear-bomb, and hence, Iran need to break the deal, the second aspect is to make the world believe that once KSA is to acquire the nuclear-bomb, it would land into the hands of Islamists/ extremists which would endanger the whole world, hence, KSA should never be allowed to accrue to it, and obviously the news is making to headlines in Israeli newspapers too 9 which is very keen on the issue. Now wonder, very soon a trail of campaign of disinformation or misinformation is to launched to make KSA remain permanently under the scanner and IAEA or UN inspection team would reach KSA as the next destination.

The third angle which is quite unsaid is to personally warn MbS about the CIA report which had blamed MbS into the murder of Jamal Khashogi, on November 17, 2018  10 and which Donald Trump, as a friend of MbS had discarded as ‘very premature’ on December 11, 2018 11. Khashogi was murdered while inside Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey on October 2, 2018 12. It was widely perceived that Trump friendship gesture to MbS was to have dangerous consequences for MbS as Trump was soon expected to ‘squeeze-out’ his personal favour.  Perhaps, the time has arrived as another one-time friend and former Saudi intelligence official of MbS , on August 7, 2020, Saad Al Jabari has accused MbS to have sent agents to kill him in Canada 13, the veracity of the claim  is to be ascertained but the smear worldwide campaign seem to be ahead of MbS now. May be very soon the genie out of CIA report is to come out and world human rights ( US sponsored) activists are pressed against MbS to have amassed weapons and military equipments etc, thus, MbS is now to be on a permanent blackmail list of US.

China needs to be relegated to a corner as through this news the first priority is to make the world believe that China is bent upon making the world have nuclear weapons and will destroy the world, but  one question begs an answer? How come KSA which is so deeply involved with US in all its wars, since decades, be allowed to flirt with China, that too, right under the very nose of US? This is the way to keep KSA under permanent US watch-list.  KSA is also quite embroiled into a conflict with Qatar and West is very keen to link Qatar with Hezbollah 14  , the armed movement inside Lebanon against Israel, from pretty before Beirut was bombed,  and the fanfare with which Qatar wants to organise football world cup in 2020 may also sour.

For US the biggest anathema is China-Iran deal and US anyhow wants to kill China Pakistan Economic Corridor(CPEC), which now China wants to extend to Chabahar ( Iran ) via the port in Gwador ( Pakistan) apart from linking Ladakh right now contested with India, to Gilgit-Baltistan towards its project under Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).  India and China are embroiled over Indian parts in Himalayas and both the countries are readying for a war, as this new situation had arisen after India under Narendra Modi annulled the special status to J&K on August 5, 2019, and made Ladakh into a Union Territory which invited an ire by China and Pakistan at UN. India has been permanently in alliance with US from a couple of years and has grown in its military and naval exercises in South China sea in confederation with US, Japan and Australia.

So, did India, at the behest of US,  also tried to forge a backdoor-diplomacy with Pakistan which Pakistan has refused on August 7, 2020 15, as the message was to be for China that Pakistan has started to initiate with India by ditching China, but no such report has appeared in Indian media, and also there have been overtures by Japanese defense minister on August 6, 2020 16 in which Japanese defense minister Kono had a teleconference with Pakistan army chief General Bajwa, the two apparently talked ‘ways and methods’ to contain COVID-19 but the crux was an offer by Japan to strengthen Pakistan in defense matters, this was also a ploy to give a message to China that Pakistan was into co-operation with Japan which is China traditional rival. But, China-Pakistan ties seem to be undeterred by US sponsored moves.

It is under such circumstances the clouds of war are hovering over India, amid a speculation of a two-front war, by China-Pakistan in the coming winter.  May be Trump wants war to happen before US goes to polls by November 2020.

The writer is a former Information Commissioner. He is also a lawyer based in Lucknow.

References:      

1-      https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3873755,00.html

2-      https://news.sky.com/story/beirut-explosion-lebanons-president-says-blast-may-have-been-caused-by-a-rocket-or-a-bomb-12044405

3-      https://www.wsj.com/articles/saudi-arabia-with-chinas-help-expands-its-nuclear-program-11596575671

4-      https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/05/us/politics/us-examines-saudi-nuclear-program.html

5-      https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/us-officials-dispute-trumps-claim-beirut-attacked-72190863

6-      https://www.richardsilverstein.com/2020/08/04/breaking-israel-bombed-beirut/

7-      https://www.cbsnews.com/news/saudi-crown-prince-mohammed-bin-salman-iran-nuclear-bomb-saudi-arabia/

8-      https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/iran-china-trade-military-agreement

9-      https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/saudi-arabia-reportedly-expands-nuclear-program-with-china-s-help-1.9049176

10-   https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-46245167

11-   https://www.cnbc.com/2018/12/12/donald-trump-supports-saudi-crown-prince-mohammed-bin-salman.html

12-   https://www.insider.com/the-murder-of-jamal-khashoggi-2019-10

13-   https://www.trtworld.com/magazine/after-khashoggi-murder-mbs-sent-agents-to-kill-saudi-dissident-in-canada-38721

14-   https://atalayar.com/en/content/qatar-could-have-financed-hezbollah-lebanon

15-   https://thekashmirpress.com/2020/08/07/pakistan-has-ruled-out-any-back-door-diplomacy-with-india-report/

16-   Video Teleconference between Defense Minister Kono and Chief of Army Staff of Pakistan


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