Saudi Minister Won't Rule Out Developing Nuclear Weapons if Iran Does

Saudi Arabia 'will do everything it can to protect its people and to protect its territories,' the minister of state for foreign affairs says

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Finland's Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto greets Saudi Arabia's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir in Helsinki, Finland. November 9, 2020.
Finland's Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto greets Saudi Arabia's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir in Helsinki, Finland. November 9, 2020.Credit: Markku Ulander/Lehtikuva/Reuters
DPA

Saudi Arabia reserves the right to arm itself with nuclear weapons if Iran cannot be stopped from making one, the kingdom's minister of state for foreign affairs said.

"It's definitely an option," Adel al-Jubeir told DPA in a recent interview. If Iran becomes a nuclear power, he said, more countries would follow suit. "And has made it very clear, that it will do everything it can to protect its people and to protect its territories," added the official.

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Saudi Arabia and Iran are struggling for supremacy in the Middle East. Tehran has been working on the use of nuclear power for decades and in 2015 signed a with world powers to stop the development of a bomb in exchange for lifting sanctions.

But U.S. President withdrew his country from the deal and has brought it to the brink of failure. His administration wants a more far-reaching program and an end to Iran's regional interference –  a position supported by Saudi Arabia.

"We believe that the Iranians have only responded to pressure," said al-Jubeir. And as for what changes may come under ? "We will have to see," he said.

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