Washington: It is being revealed that Saudi, the closest ally of the United States in the Gulf, is running a secret nuclear program with assistance from China. The US newspaper The Wall Street Journal carried this report. Another newspaper claimed that the US intelligence agencies have started investigating the Saudi nuclear program, following this report. Saudi has already issued a warning to become a nuclear power against Iran. Against this background, serious cognisance is being taken of the concerning developments.
The concerned newspaper said that this secret nuclear program Is being run in the Al Ula City, in north-western Saudi. Uranium enrichment is being carried out in this project, and two Chinese companies are assisting Saudi in this project. As per an agreement signed in 2012, two Chinese companies, namely China National Nuclear Corporation and China Nuclear Engineering Group, are providing nuclear cooperation to Saudi. The concerned newspaper claimed that Saudi had kept the option of making a nuclear weapon open with this nuclear program.
This Saudi secret nuclear program is a challenge for Iran, and the concerned newspaper drew attention to the Saudi announcement made two years ago. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman had warned that if Iran acquires a nuclear weapon, Saudi will not lag behind and will make a nuclear bomb. Therefore, the newspaper claimed that the Saudi movements regarding Uranium enrichment are a cause for concern. An inquiry can be ordered into the Saudi nuclear program based on this newspaper report quoting US officials.
As per the information given by another US newspaper The New York Times, the US intelligence agencies have already initiated an inquiry into the Saudi nuclear program. The US Department of State warned that Saudi had invited other threats arising from China by entering into this cooperation. Saudi has dismissed the claim that Uranium enrichment is being done at Al-Ula. But Saudi accepted that an agreement had been signed with the Chinese companies for Uranium enrichment.