Saudi Arabia may be forced to develop nuclear weapons if Iran obtains them, according to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. In an interview with Fox News, the Crown Prince expressed his concerns about Iran’s potential nuclear capabilities, stating that any country acquiring nuclear weapons is making a “bad move.” He emphasized that if Iran were to possess nuclear weapons, Saudi Arabia would have no choice but to follow suit.
Bin Salman highlighted the grave consequences of a country using nuclear weapons, stating that it would be seen as a declaration of war against the rest of the world. He referred to the devastating atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the United States in 1945, which resulted in the loss of over 100,000 lives. The Crown Prince stressed that the global community would not tolerate another Hiroshima and would respond jointly to prevent such a catastrophic event.
The Prince’s remarks come at a time of increased tension between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Iran has been facing severe international sanctions due to its nuclear program but consistently denies allegations of pursuing nuclear weapons. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, during his speech at the United Nations, reiterated that Iran’s nuclear activities are for peaceful energy purposes only and emphasized that nuclear weapons have no place in the country’s military doctrine.
Raisi also expressed Iran’s willingness to return to the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The JCPOA, also known as the Iran nuclear deal, aimed to limit Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions. However, the United States, under then-President Donald Trump, unilaterally withdrew from the agreement, leading to strained relations between Iran and the US.
In the interview, bin Salman stressed that if Iran were to obtain nuclear weapons, it would disrupt the balance of power in the region. Maintaining a balance of power is crucial for stability in the Middle East. The Crown Prince’s comments reflect the concern that a nuclear Iran could potentially pose a threat to Saudi Arabia and its allies.
It is worth noting that Saudi Arabia and Iran have recently taken steps toward diplomatic reconciliation. After a seven-year break, the two countries restored diplomatic ties in March, thanks to mediation by China. This rapprochement indicates a potential shift in the dynamics of their relationship and could contribute to regional stability.
In conclusion, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s comments regarding Saudi Arabia’s potential development of nuclear weapons if Iran acquires them highlight the destabilizing impact such a scenario could have on the region. The Crown Prince emphasizes that acquiring nuclear weapons would be a regrettable move, but also emphasizes the importance of maintaining a balance of power in the face of evolving regional dynamics. The international community remains committed to preventing the use of nuclear weapons, as seen through the response to previous nuclear attacks. The recent restoration of diplomatic ties between Saudi Arabia and Iran presents a glimmer of hope for improved relations and increased stability in the Middle East.