Egyptian-American political analyst Magdi Khalil, Executive Director of the Middle East Freedom Forum Think Tank, said in a March 2, 2023 interview on Russia Today that the impact on the region would not be significant if Iran obtains nuclear weapons because the Saudis would quickly obtain them as well, thereby restoring "balance." In addition, he said that Iran's nuclear weapons program cannot be compared to Israel's because Israel's nuclear weapons deter those who want to annihilate it, while Iran seeks to force its hegemony upon the region.
Magdi Khalil: "Has the U.S. really failed [to thwart Iran's nuclear program]? What is the U.S. supposed to do? Wage war against Iran? tThe United States, especially at this time, does not want another major war, in the Middle East or [anywhere] in the world. Iran wants to produce a nuclear bomb? Be my guest. Saudi Arabia will produce one as well, or buy one from Pakistan and the nuclear deterrence in the Middle East will be balanced. This will have no effect whatsoever. On the contrary, Iran will have to fear the 'Sunni' nuclear weapons after all this. In my opinion, let Iran produce nuclear weapons. Where is the problem? Within a few years, there will be several nuclear countries. After what happened in Ukraine, and after the nuclear escalation by Russia, that makes it seem like an ordinary weapon... In 1994, Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons and this led to its invasion. All this hurled the world into nuclear escalation, and a nuclear arms race.
"Israel is small place amidst 22 hostile countries that for 70 years have wanted to annihilate it. If Iran says it wants to annihilate Israel... We are talking about a country that the Sunnis and the Shiites have agreed... From [Egyptian President] Abdel Nasser, who said he wanted to throw Israel into the sea, to Iran's [President] Ahmadinejad, who said Iran would destroy Israel. How can you compare a weapon meant [to protect Israel's] very existence to a weapon meant to force [Iran's] hegemony.
"Israel is an extremely unique case. Its surrounding [countries] are hostile and want to annihilate it. The Israelis have gone through the experience of Hitler, who [tried to] annihilate the Jews in the Holocaust, and therefore, Israel is justified in defending... Israel said that its nuclear weapons constitute the Samson Option: 'If we face a total annihilation of the state of Israel, we will use them.' As for Iran – why does it produce nuclear weapons? Why would it use them? In order to force its hegemony. That's it. Nobody is threatening Iran. Before it turned into a rogue country, Iran had good relations with the West. It turned into a country that wants to export its Revolution, wants to impose its hegemony on the region, a rogue country that clashes with the whole world. This is a country you compare to Israel? The two cannot be compared."