An editorial in Saudi’s Al-Madina (Aug. 15) gives some insight, from within the Arab world, to the news that the activation of the nuclear facility in Bushehr, expected to happen in the next week. The Saudi edit states:
"In taking this action, Tehran is ignoring all the advice, warnings, and requests to halt its nuclear program, or at the very least to try to continue it under clear and open international inspection that would guarantee that it does not have a military facet. If [Tehran] insists upon going ahead [with the program] without the agreement of the international community, it will bring embarrassment and suspicion upon every [country] that supported [Iran’s] right to peaceful nuclear energy.
"More importantly, by means of this action, Tehran is moving its conflict with the international community into high gear, and [in this case] some may consider the military option to be the best solution. [Delaying recourse to this option] may lead to a point where it is impossible to implement it – if Tehran manages to produce a nuclear bomb of its own.
"What is of concern is [the fact] that the Bushehr reactor is closer to several Gulf capitals than to the Iranian capital itself, as well as the fact that it is very near the crucial oil routes which pass through the Arabian Gulf – placing the neighboring countries in great danger, both in the event of an attack and in the event of radioactive leakage. Moreover, [the Bushehr reactor] may become the site where Tehran will develop its nuclear weapons, which it may use to impose demands or exert pressure on the region. This is a suspicion that Iran has not managed to refute to date."
"… All parties must be judicious in confronting the new situation, and must make sure that the inauguration of Bushehr is not a preamble to disturbances or tremors in the region."