Saudi Arabia will develop nuclear weapons if Iran gets ahold of one, Crown Prince MBS warns
Published Sep. 20, 2023, 11:49 p.m. ET
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If Iran is able to obtain a nuclear weapon, Saudi Arabia will seek to acquire one as well, the kingdom’s crown prince declared Wednesday.
“Well, we are concerned [about] any country getting a nuclear weapon. That’s a bad move,” Salman said. “You don’t need to get a nuclear weapon because you can’t use it even if you can get a nuclear weapon.”
The crown prince argued that if Iran is able to obtain a nuclear weapon and its authoritarian regime decides to use it, the country would quickly find itself at war with “the world.”
“The world cannot see another Hiroshima,” Salman said. “If the world sees 100,000 people dead, that means you are in a war with the rest of the world.”
Despite calling the development of nuclear weapons a “useless effort,” Salman warned that his country would seek to develop the devastating technology as well if Iran is able to build or acquire a nuclear warhead.
“If they get one, we have to get one,” he warned, citing “security reasons” and for “balancing power in the Middle East.”
“But we don’t want to see that,” Salman added.
Relations between Riyadh and Tehran have thawed since a China-brokered deal in March re-established diplomatic relations between the two Middle Eastern nations.
“We didn’t choose China, China chose to be a broker to make that happen,” Salman said of the deal, which some characterized as a symbol of Beijing’s burgeoning international influence and the decline of the US’s influence under the Biden administration.
Since the China deal, President Biden, who criticized Salman during his 2020 presidential campaign and threatened that the Saudi Arabia would “pay the price” and be made a “pariah” over the 2018 killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, has been attempting to broker a similar agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia that would see normalized relations between the two Middle Eastern powers.