Washington / Dubai: ‘The Washington Post’, a leading US daily claimed that Saudi Arabia has secretly begun developing missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads to counter the Iranian nuclear program. ‘Saudi Arabia has started developing the missiles considering a scenario where the United States does not support the decision to attack Iran’, the daily stated. Also, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman warned last year that Saudi Arabia would not hesitate to develop nuclear weapons if Iran did, the Washington Post reminded.
The development of the missiles was carried out at the military base near the town of the Al Dawadmi, 230 kilometres from the capital, Riyadh, the US daily said. The report also mentions that Saudi had completed erecting structures big enough to build and test the ballistic missiles at the military base. The Washington Post has also published satellite images of the military base.
Satellite imagery taken in November reveals that the necessary construction for the building and testing of the missiles was complete. Jeffrey Lewis, a missile expert, told Washington Post that heavy investments in missiles indicate Riyadh’s interest in nuclear weapons. Based on this observation, Lewis speculated that Saudi Arabia was working towards the development of nuclear weapons.
Furthermore, Lewis cited the Saudi Crown Prince’s announcement from last year about turning Saudi into a nuclear state. He had stated that if Iran was going to develop nuclear weapons despite the deal with the western countries, Saudi would not stop short of acquiring the nukes. Then Foreign Minister of Saudi, Adel al-Jubeir had cautioned towards the possibility of Saudi going nuclear. Moreover, analysts believed Saudi might purchase nuclear weapons from Pakistan.
Meanwhile, the Saudi regime or its embassy in the United States has not responded to the Washington Post and Lewis’ claims as yet. Nevertheless, the article evidently demonstrates the power struggle between Iran and Saudi Arabia having acquired nuclear proportions.