Nuclear Arms Race Begins: We Must Have a Military Nuclear Program Within a Decade

Following the July 14, 2015 announcement in Vienna of the Iran-P5+1 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the Saudi press featured numerous articles openly calling for Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states to use the coming decade – the time frame of the JCPOA – to develop their own military nuclear program, against the nuclear threat that they say Iran will constitute after the agreement expires.

There have already been calls for a clandestine Saudi nuclear program to parallel Iran’s, which were backed up by official Saudi sources.

For example, the month before the announcement of the JCPOA, Saudi Ambassador to the U.K. Emir Muhammad bin Nawwaf bin ‘Abd Al-‘Aziz Al-Saud told the Daily Telegraph that if the upcoming nuclear agreement with Iran did not include a serious Iranian commitment to refrain from developing nuclear weapons, then as far as Saudi Arabia is concerned, “all options are on the table.” He emphasized that over the years, his country had opposed the development of nuclear weapons, but that Iran’s policy on the issue “has changed the whole outlook in the region.”

Emir Turki Al-Faisal, former Saudi intelligence chief and Saudi Ambassador to the U.S., made similar statements, on a number of occasions. In April 2014, at a security conference in Bahrain, Al-Faisal called on the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states to acquire nuclear knowledge to deal with the Iranian danger. The previous year, at the 2013 Arab-U.S. Policymakers Conference, he threatened that if Iran developed nuclear weapons, the GCC would consider acquiring its own “nuclear deterrent.”

Alongside these statements by Saudi officials, there have been various reports in media worldwide on Saudi intentions to establish a military nuclear program, or to acquire nuclear weapons from a third party, meaning Pakistan. (Read more from “Nuclear Arms Race Begins: We Must Have a Military Nuclear Program Within a Decade” HERE)

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