Saudi Arabia Iran Relations: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) said on Wednesday that Saudi Arabia will acquire nuclear weapons if its rival Iran does so first. He made this comment in an interview given to Fox News. In a video clip of the interview, MBS can be heard saying, ‘If they (Iran) get one (nuclear weapon), we have to get one too.’
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Speaking about related threats, MBS said Saudi Arabia is ‘concerned’ whenever a country acquires nuclear weapons. However, he also said that no one would use nuclear weapons because it would mean starting a ‘war with the rest of the world’.
MBS said, ‘If any country uses nuclear weapons, it means that it is at war with the rest of the world. The world cannot see another Hiroshima. If the world sees 100,000 people dying, it means you are at war with the rest of the world.
With former US President Donald Trump withdrawing from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and the Biden administration refusing to return to it, Tehran has accelerated its nuclear progress – threatening the stability of the region.
Saudi Arabia had announced to install a nuclear reactor
Notably, in 2016 Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, announced its plan to build 16 nuclear reactors over the next two decades with a budget of $80 billion. Two years later, the state approved its National Nuclear Energy Policy which limits the use of nuclear energy to peaceful purposes.
Such a statement has come from Saudi Arabia before also
However, this is not the first time that in view of the possible threat from Iran, a statement related to nuclear bomb has come from Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud had said last year that if Tehran got ‘operational nuclear weapons’ the kingdom would take steps to increase its security.
The Foreign Minister said, ‘If Iran gets an operational nuclear weapon, all bets will be in vain. We are in a very dangerous situation in the region…You can hope that regional states will certainly look at how they can ensure their security.
(with agency input)