Traces of Uranium Found in Egypt

The International Atomic Energy Agency found traces of highly enriched uranium at a nuclear research site in Egypt, according to a report released this week .  The IAEA, which is investigating the matter, did not say if the uranium had been enriched enough to be used in an atomic weapon.  The Egyptian government said that the uranium could have been inadvertently brought into the country by contaminated radioisotope transport containers that were hauling materials to be used in medicine and agriculture.

The uranium finding raises concerns that Egypt might try to develop nuclear weapons if Iran does so.  Earlier this week, Defense Secretary Robert Gates visited Cairo to reassure America’s Arab ally of US support as the Obama administration tries to improve relations with Iran, a nation that Western intelligence believe is trying to acquire the Bomb.  Egypt is widely concerned to be a barometer for attitudes in the Arab world, and some worry that if Egypt tries to “go nuclear” then other states in the Middle East, such as Saudi Arabia, might follow suit and thereby undermine attempts to prevent nuclear proliferation.


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