Gal Luft portrays an unsettling scenario of the face of things to come:
"As tension between Sunnis and Shi'ites mounts from Iraq to Lebanon another front is opening in the deepening strife between the two parts of the Muslim world: The race to acquire nuclear capabilities. Iran's uranium enrichment program en route to a Shi'ite bomb has already whetted the appetite of its Sunni neighbors to follow suit. The December meeting of the of the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is a new milestone on the road to a Sunni Arab nuclear capability. In the meeting, GCC leaders decided on a joint program in the field of nuclear technology for "peaceful purposes". "Possessing nuclear technology […] has economic and scientific significance," the spokesman for the Council of Ministers explained. Two weeks later another Gulf country, Yemen, announced its aspirations to acquire nuclear technology. On the African side of the Middle East, Egypt and Algeria, two Sunni nations blessed with energy resources, have also declared their intension to pursue nuclear power. Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak drew roaring applause when he announced in a November speech before a combined session of the People's Assembly and Shura Council that Egypt was not "in need of anyone's authorization to develop peaceful nuclear energy".
"What is at stake today is not just a nuclear Iran but a full blown nuclearization of the world's most dangerous region. With this in mind the U.S.' and Europe's strategy should go beyond just preventing Iran from acquiring nukes. As this battle may already be lost, the focus now should be on the next wave of nuclear hopefuls. This will require the development of a fresh set of carrots and sticks as well as a candid dialogue which includes not only Sunni Arabs who desire nukes but also Russia, China and Pakistan, the countries most likely to provide them with the technology they need to meet their ambitions.
As the world transitioned from the Cold War to the war on radical Islam former CIA director James Woolsey said: "We have slain a large dragon. But we live now in a jungle filled with a bewildering variety of poisonous snakes." If subsequent to a failure to prevent a Shi'ite bomb comes another failure to prevent a Sunni bomb this unsavory jungle will be populated in no time with some of the worst of dragons."