Saudi nuke deal: Mike Flynn’s revenge?

The current revelations of Trump administration efforts to transfer sensitive nuclear material to Saudi Arabia bring into focus the grim implications of the pull-out from the Iran nuclear deal. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif takes the opportunity to tweet about "US hypocrisy," while the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, an Israeli security think-tank, gleefully quotes a recent comment by Ahmad Khatami, a senior member of Iran's Assembly of Experts, that Tehran possess the "formula" to build a nuclear bomb, although he added that there "no intention of using a weapon of mass destruction." (Emphasis ours) The outrage was revealed when the House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Reform issued a report yesterday, after receiving whistleblower complaints of "efforts inside the White House to rush the transfer of highly sensitive US nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia in potential violation of the Atomic Energy Act (AEA) and without review by Congress as required by law—efforts that may be ongoing to this day." The report reveals the key figure pushing for the transfers as Trump's hard-right ex-National Security Advisor Mike Flynn, who now awaits sentencing on charges of lying to the FBI.

A key proponent of this nuclear effort was General Michael Flynn, who described himself in filings as an "advisor" to a subsidiary of IP3, IronBridge Group Inc., from June 2016 to December 2016—at the same time he was serving as Donald Trump’s national security advisor during the presidential campaign and the presidential transition. According to the whistleblowers, General Flynn continued to advocate for the adoption of the IP3 plan not only during the transition, but even after he joined the White House as President Trump’s National Security Advisor.

DC-based IP3, which bills itself as a "global enterprise to develop sustainable energy and security infrastructure," is said to have pitched the White House and Saudi Arabia on "the Iron Bridge Program as a 21st Century Marshall Plan for the Middle East," involving the development of "dozens of nuclear power plants."

Whatever civilan-use facade is employed, it is clear these transfers are aimed at countering any Iranian nuclear arms development. Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir explicitly told CNN last May: "If Iran acquires nuclear capability we will do everything we can to do the same."

Despite leaving the administration and probably being headed for the slammer, Flynn's bellicose agenda for the Middle East lives on in the White House, it seems. Hopefully, the outrage over these revelations will apply some breaks before we find ourselves drifting toward unparalleled catastrophe.

Photo: WikiMedia via Jurist