Sunday, 13 October, 2019

Saudi Arabia pledges to create a nuclear bomb if Iran does

Houthi Ansarullah fighter dressed in camouflage and aiming at a position of Saudi troops in southwestern Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia pledges to create a nuclear bomb if Iran does
Patty Aguilar | 16 March, 2018, 00:11

The policy announcement comes ahead of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's visit to the United States on March 19-22, which is likely to see efforts to reach a civilian nuclear cooperation accord with Washington.

Iran, under pressure from European powers to assuage U.S. worries about its adherence to the nuclear deal, hit back at the prince.

"Because he wants to expand".

And he has also added fuel to largely Sunni Saudi Arabia's fight with Shiite Iran. "I don't want to see the same events happening in the Middle East".

In recent years, tensions have escalated over the wars in Syria and Yemen.

The brazen prince, dubbed "MBS", has rocked Saudi Arabia since his father became king in 2015 and named him defence minister.

Trump, however, has repeatedly signalled his support for Saudi Arabia, visiting Riyadh in May 2017 on his first foreign trip as the USA leader.

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It is not known to have attempted to develop nuclear arms on its own but has reportedly invested in Pakistani nuclear weapons projects.

However in 2015, it signed onto an global agreement that saw crippling economic sanctions lifted in return for limitations on the programmes, which world powers feared Iran would use to create a nuclear weapon.

The new push by the kingdom to develop a nuclear energy capability has raised worries that, as in Iran, it could potentially underpin a weapons program.

The deal restricted uranium enrichment, plutonium production, and allowed for increased inspections.

On a visit to the White House in 2015, the elderly 82-year-old king apparently mistakenly told then-President Barack Obama that his wife was receiving medical treatment in NY, contrary to the US's own intelligence that she was not in the country.

Trump on Tuesday nominated Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo as the next secretary of state. U.S. sanctions will resume unless U.S. President Donald Trump issues fresh "waivers" to suspend them on May 12.

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