Saudi Arabia to develop nuclear bomb if Iran does, vows Crown Prince

Saudi Arabia to develop nuclear bomb if Iran does, vows Crown Prince

Riyadh (Web Desk): Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman has said that the country will follow suit as soon as possible if Iran developed a nuclear bomb.

The crown prince told this CBS, a US television network, in an interview that will air in full on “60 Minutes” on Sunday.

“Saudi Arabia does not want to acquire any nuclear bomb, but without a doubt, if Iran developed a nuclear bomb, we will follow suit as soon as possible,” the crown prince said in remarks released on Thursday.

The heir to the throne, in response to a question, said, he has referred to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as “the new Hitler” of the Middle East because “he wants to expand.”

The prince said “He [Khamenei] wants to create his own project in the Middle East very much like Hitler who wanted to expand at the time”.

“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,” he added.

Crown Prince Mohammed, who also serves as Saudi defense minister, said last year that the Kingdom would make sure any future struggle between the two countries “is waged in Iran.”

Both countries – the Sunni Muslim kingdom and Shi’ite Iran – are involved in proxy wars in the region for decades. The states are also supporting their favourite governments in armed conflict and political crisis in Syria, Iran, Yemen and Lebanon.

Downplaying Tehran, MBS said: “Iran is not a rival to Saudi Arabia. Its army is not among the top five armies in the Muslim world. The Saudi economy is larger than the Iranian economy. Iran is far from being equal to Saudi Arabia”.

It is worth mentioning that Riyadh has slammed a 2015 pact between world powers and Tehran under which economic sanction imposed on Islamic republic were lifted and in return for Iran halting its nuclear energy programme.

US sanctions will remain in effect unless President Donald Trump issues fresh “waivers” to suspend them on May 12.