Washington: Against the backdrop of the growing threat from Iran, Saudi Arabia has increased its efforts for acquiring nuclear weapons. It has come to light that Saudi Arabia has formed a division of experts to obtain the technology to develop nuclear bombs and to perform research on it. The US think tank has said that Saudi Arabia is an amateur country in the field of nuclear weapons production.
The ‘Institute for Science and International Security’, a think tank that keeps a watch on the nuclear programs of all the countries in the world has recently published a report. The report states that Saudi has begun working on its nuclear program. The think tank has claimed that currently Saudi’s development in this field is in its primary stages and Saudi could rapidly expand in the direction of manufacturing nuclear weapons.
The aforementioned think tank has held Iran responsible in its report for Saudi initiating attempts to manufacture nuclear weapons. According to the information in the report, Iran has been running its nuclear program with disregard since many years. The US had alleged that Iran’s nuclear program was meant for the production of nuclear weapons. The US had even imposed strict restrictions on Iran for running this nuclear program. However, during Barack Obama’s tenure, these restrictions were relaxed to a greater extent, criticized the think tank.
Previously, the then US President Obama had compromised with Iran and made a nuclear deal. The US allies from Europe had endorsed this deal. However, Saudi Arabia and its other Middle Eastern allied nations had criticized the said deal. Saudi Arabia had claimed that this deal had not affected Iran’s nuclear program much.
Also, by striking a nuclear deal with the western countries, Iran’s transactions in the Middle East were gaining momentum. In the Syrian conflict, the influence of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards unit and also that of ‘Hezbollah’, the terrorist outfit, affiliated with Iran had increased. To add to this, the US had shirked from taking a stance against Iran’s growing influence in Syria, claimed the US think tank in its report.
On the other hand, Iran’s nuclear program is four decades old. Even after international restrictions, cyber attacks and the deaths of Iranian nuclear scientists, there was no major impact on Iran’s nuclear program. Based on these grounds, an amateur Saudi Arabia as opposed to an experienced Iran in this field, cannot acquire advance nuclear technology in a small span. Therefore, the think tank expressed a strong possibility of Saudi buying nuclear weapons, taking into account Iran’s threat.
The report states that Saudi Arabia is getting increasingly apprehensive as there has been no change in Iran’s nuclear program despite the nuclear deal and Iran’s growing dominance in Syria, Iraq and the Persian Gulf. Based on these events, the US think tank states that Saudi Arabia has increased its efforts to acquire nuclear weapons. The think thank also revived the fact that Saudi Arabia had already announced of obtaining minimum 16 nuclear weapons prior to this.
A few months ago, there were reports of Saudi Arabia having inquired about the purchase of nuclear weapons to Pakistan. The reports also said of Saudi making demands for nuclear weapons from Pakistan in exchange for the financial aid that it received from Saudi. However, Pakistan had dismissed the this. Meanwhile, the US had already warned of the alternative to using military action being open to curb Iran’s controversial nuclear program. Also, Israel has offered to cooperate with Saudi and other Arab countries against Iran.