Saudi Arabia signed a nuclear cooperation agreement with South Korea, fueling fears of a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. The Wall Street Journal wrote on Thursday that the signing of the agreement increases “concerns on Capitol Hill and among U.S. allies that a deal with Iran, rather than stanching the spread of nuclear technologies, risks fueling it.” Experts Simon Henderson and Olli Heinonen explain, “While the purpose of multilateral negotiations with Iran is to reduce proliferation concerns, successful talks may in fact accelerate nuclear plans in the Gulf states and Jordan.”Rumors of a weak deal that allows Iran a glidepath to a bomb have heightened concerns; lawmakers on Capitol Hill and analysts have expressed fears that America’s Sunni allies will pursue their own nuclear programs. As Henderson writes, “[F]rom their perspective, if Iran is going to be allowed to enrich uranium and retain its nuclear-capable missiles -- as they believe likely given Washington's reported approach to the negotiations thus far -- why shouldn't they be permitted to acquire similar capabilities?” Henderson contextualized this observation by adding that containing proliferation will be very difficult if an agreement is signed and the Gulf states oppose it.
Gulf Arab states have raised their concerns with the United States over the impending nuclear deal with Iran. Former head of Israeli military intelligence, Amos Yadlin concluded, “[If Iran gets the bomb] the Saudis will not wait one month. They already paid for the bomb, they will go to Pakistan and bring what they need to bring.” The Journal also reports, “A number of senior Arab officials have warned the White House in recent months the Saudi government could seek Pakistan’s aid in developing nuclear technologies — or even buy an atomic bomb — if it sees an agreement with Iran as too weak.”
Referring to the implications of Middle East proliferation, Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic writes, “If Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Turkey respond to an Iran nuclear agreement by ramping up their own nuclear programs, we may be able to judge the deal a provisional failure.”
In addition to being one of the most violent and brutal terror groups in the Middle East, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) also has a very sophisticated media system and public relations strategy.
A new report (Arabic link) found that ISIS has seven distinct media outlets through which it publicizes its radical ideas. These are Ajnad, Al-Furqan, Al-I’itisam, Al-Hayat, Al-Bayan Radio, Dabiq Magazine and media offices in each of its “provinces.” In addition, ISIS has published around 90,000 pages on social media platforms, mostly on Facebook and Twitter.
Egyptian researcher Sabra al-Qasemi, who published the research paper “The Seven Media Wings of ISIS’s Communication Department,” told the Al-Arabiya TV channel that ISIS’s media department is run by Mohammad al-Adnani, the communication “minister” of the terror organization. He said that every one of the seven media wings has a very specific mission decided on by the organization’s top leaders.
According to al-Qasemi, those seven wings market ISIS’s radical ideas in more than 12 languages all over the world, aiming to recruit as many young people as they can.
The research has shown that ISIS allocated $3 billion from its budget to fund its media operations. The terror group controls many oil-rich areas in Iraq and thus can fund this media activity easily.
Al-Qasemi also found that ISIS spends significant sums of money to import the latest hi-tech equipment for its media operations from neighboring countries such as Turkey.
Most ISIS videos, which are shot in high-definition video and include sophisticated graphics, are distributed by Al-Hayat Media Center and the Al-Furqan foundation. Al-Hayat has also released an online English-language magazine titled Dabiq, which includes in-depth reports about ISIS strategy and its activities. ISIS also runs a special studio, the Ajnad Media Foundation, which produces religious hymns and songs. (via TheTower.org)