Saudi Arabia warned to develop its own nuclear weapon if Iran acquires one. According to US media, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman does not wish to obtain nuclear weapons.
Mohammed bin Salman said on CBS News, “But without a doubt if Iran developed a nuclear bomb, we would follow suit as soon as possible.”
A 2015 agreement between Iran and many foreign countries curtailed its nuclear program but former US president Donald Trump threatened to withdraw from it. In the Middle East, Saudi Arabia and Iran have long been adversaries. Each is ruled by a separate branch of Islam – Shia in Iran and Sunni in Saudi Arabia – and has sided with rival nations in regional wars.
In recent years, tensions have increased over the wars in Syria and Yemen. Prince Mohammed bin Salman made the statement in an interview with CBS’s 60 Minutes program.
He also clarified why he referred to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as “the new Hitler of the Middle East” in November.
“He wants to create his own project in the Middle East, very much like Hitler who wanted to expand at the time,” the crown prince said.
“Many countries around the world and in Europe did not realize how dangerous Hitler was until what happened, happened. I don’t want to see the same events happening in the Middle East.”
Since 1988, Saudi Arabia, a significant US ally, has ratified the treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Iran, which is a signatory to the NPT, has long maintained that its nuclear programs are solely being used for peaceful reasons.
However, in 2015, it ratified a global accord that saw the lifting of punishing economic sanctions in exchange for restrictions on the program that major nations thought Iran might use to develop a nuclear bomb.