In a recent TV interview on Egypt's Channel 1, Egyptian professor Muhammad Al-Naschie said that nuclear energy was essential for Egypt, both for peaceful purposes, such as water desalination, and for military defense. "Iran is doing it, and Israel is doing it, so we should have [nuclear] energy, so that when the region turns into a jungle, we will be able to defend ourselves," said Al-Naschie, who was a candidate in the 2012 presidential elections. In the past, Al-Naschie has expressed anti-American conspiracy views (see MEMRI TV clips 3153 and 3256 at www.memritv.org). Following are excerpts from the interview, which aired on October 20, 2013:
Muhammad Al-Naschie: I totally support nuclear energy [in Egypt]. I see no serious alternative. I believe that it is essential for Egypt and that Egypt's future depends on it, especially because of the prospect of using nuclear energy in water desalination.
The possible damage, even in case of a radioactive leak, cannot be compared to the damage caused by the poverty in Egypt. Such poverty is inexcusable, because Egypt is the greatest country in the Mediterranean region.
It is only natural for any country to consider that since the world around it is becoming a jungle, with every country threatening its neighbors with 2,3, or 20 nuclear bombs... Anyone would say: I want nuclear energy too, for military defense. Iran is doing it, and Israel is doing it, so we should have [nuclear] energy, so that when the region turns into a jungle, we will be able to defend ourselves. But I want it, first and foremost, for the economy. Nuclear energy is vital for the Egyptian economy.
Let us proceed quickly along this path. All the obstacles are artificial obstacles, devised by a very small and quarrelsome neighbor, which I will not name.
Interviewer: And the reason is that there is only a short distance between nuclear energy for peaceful purposes and for military use...
Muhammad Al-Naschie: Exactly, there is no other reason. A certain country has 500 nuclear warheads, but Dr. ElBaradei could not visit it, when he was the head of the International Atomic Hypocrisy Agensy, in Vienna. But when Iran builds 2 or 3 [bombs], the whole world is up in arms. It has [nuclear energy], of course. We can't even build a plant. No Arab country even has a nuclear plant.