Nuclear Arms Race: Saudi Source Reveals Plan for the Bomb
While US President Barack Obama claimed he prevented a nuclear arms race in the Middle East when he presented the Iran deal last Tuesday, a key source in Saudi Arabia laid bare that claim by expressing the country’s sense of urgency to acquire its own nuclear weapon.
Jamal Khashoggi, head of the Saudi Al Arab news channel that is owned by a prince of the ruling Saudi royal family, and who previously was the media aide to Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the US, Prince Turki al Faisal, revealed that Saudi Arabia may be going nuclear very soon.
“I think Saudi Arabia would seriously try to get the (nuclear) bomb if Iran did. It’s just like India and Pakistan. The Pakistanis said for years they didn’t want one, but when India got it, so did they,” Khashoggi told Reuters on Tuesday.
The statement confirms the warnings by experts, who said that the Saudis will likely rush to obtain a nuclear weapon feeling threatened by the Iran nuclear deal, which critics warn will pave the Islamic regime’s path to a nuclear arsenal. Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shi’ite Iran have long been key rivals vying for influence in the region.
If Saudi Arabia were to go for a nuclear bomb it would likely face international sanctions, but it remains unclear if the Saudi economy could actually be threatened given the global dependence on Saudi oil; Saudi Arabia is the leading oil exporter in the world.
“I’m sure Saudi Arabia is ready to withstand pressure. It would have moral standing. If the Iranians and Israelis have it, we would have to have it to,” said Khashoggi regarding Saudi ability to withstand sanctions, arguing that the oil export would protect it from pressure.
Strengthening that argument is past evidence, as back in 1973 a Saudi oil embargo proved incredibly detrimental to the global economy, meaning global powers may be loathe to try and pressure Saudi Arabia for fear of a trade backlash.
Saudi nuclear deals
Saudi Arabia has been actively working to obtain nuclear power, recently signing nuclear deals with France, Russia and South Korea in preparation of building its own nuclear facilities; the Saudi nuclear deal with Russia was signed just last month.
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