Polimom’s not at all surprised to see this particular story (NY Times):
CAIRO, Sept. 19 — Gamal Mubarak, the son of Egypt’s president, proposed Tuesday that his country pursue nuclear energy, drawing strong applause from the nation’s political elite, while raising expectations that Mr. Mubarak is being positioned to replace his father as president.
The carefully crafted political speech raised the prospect of two potentially embarrassing developments for the White House at a time when the region is awash in crisis: a nuclear program in Egypt, recipient of about $2 billion a year in military and development aid from the United States, and Mr. Mubarak succeeding his father, Hosni Mubarak, as president without substantial political challenge.
Simply raising the topic of Egypt’s nuclear ambitions at a time of heightened tensions over Iran’s nuclear activity was received as a calculated effort to raise the younger Mr. Mubarak’s profile and to build public support through a show of defiance toward Washington, political analysts and foreign affairs experts said.
Looks like the horse is coming all the way out of the barn.
While the Times highlights this as defiance toward the U.S., it’s difficult to imagine another scenario if the situation with Iran does not resolve. On the contrary — I wouldn’t be surprised at eventual American support for Egypt’s nuclear plans, because Iran’s nuclear program worries its neighbors at least as much as it does the West.
In terms of the Iranian nuclear debate, the U.S. has a number of natural allies, and the next announcement along these lines could very well be from the Saudis…