News / Middle East

    Saudi Official Won't Rule Out Seeking Nuclear Bomb to Meet Iranian Threat

    Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir speaks in Riyadh, Jan. 19, 2016.
    Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir speaks in Riyadh, Jan. 19, 2016.
    VOA News

    Saudi Arabia's foreign minister has refused to rule out that it will seek a nuclear weapon if archrival Iran becomes a threat.

    In an interview Tuesday, Reuters news agency asked Adel al-Jubeir whether Saudi Arabia would try to get a nuclear bomb if Iran obtained one, despite its agreement with six world powers. He responded that his country would do "whatever we need to do in order to protect our people."

    Jubeir said the end of Western sanctions on Iran as part of the nuclear agreement would be welcome if Iran uses unfrozen funds to improve the living standards of its people.

    But he said if the funds "go to support the nefarious activities of the Iranian regime, this will be a negative and it will generate a pushback."

    The Saudis, Israelis, and some American lawmakers opposed to the nuclear deal say they fear Iran may use the billions of dollars in unfrozen assets to fund terrorist groups and militias.

    Tensions between Saudi Arabia and Shi'ite majority Iran escalated earlier this month after the Saudis executed a Shi'ite cleric accused of supporting terrorism. Furious Iranians attacked the Saudi Embassy in Tehran.

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry brushed off concerns the Saudis may try to get their hands on a nuclear weapon to counter a perceived Iranian threat.

    "You just can't buy a bomb and transfer it," Kerry told CNN television this week, noting that the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and international inspections would make such a thing very difficult.

    He also said possessing a nuclear bomb would not make Saudi Arabia safer.

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    Comments
         
    by: Malaay people from: Singapore
    January 19, 2016 8:41 PM
    Saudi Arabia and Israel has got one very common enemy called Islamic Republic of Iran. Israel and Saudi Arabia should come together and seriously forge a security pact against Iran. Israel should be given military base inside Saudi to protect the King and his family, protect Jewish people and serve the interest of Israel government. That's fair game.
    In Response

    by: Kevin from: USA
    January 20, 2016 4:12 AM
    Ever wondered why there isn't one single Synagogue or Church in Saudi Arabia?

    Ever cared to know there are so many Synagogues and Churches in Iran?

    Do you even think before writing?
    In Response

    by: Igor from: Russia
    January 19, 2016 11:24 PM
    What a stupid idea!
    Can you compare a terrorist sponsoring, barbarious state such as Saudi Arabia to Israel?
    Iran has never threatened to attack Saudi Arabia with nuclear weapon!
    Look again at Adel al-Jubeir 's face. He looks much like a warlike Pharaon. I bet that if Saudi Arabia has nuclear wepons, it will attack both Iran and Israel first.

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