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    General view of the "Al-Diriyah", the second of the five corvettes that Navantia is building for the Saudi Arabia Navy (RSNF), launched this Saturday in the San Fernando shipyard (Cadiz). | Photo: EFE/NAVANTIA

Published 17 November 2020
Opinion

Riyadh announced that it is contemplating the possibility of arming the country with nuclear capabilities to counteract Iran´s nuclear development and potential threats.

Saudi Arabia announces that it is considering as an "option" equipping itself with nuclear weapons to deal with the Islamic Republic of Iran.

"It is definitely an option. If Iran becomes a nuclear power, more countries will follow its example," said Saudi Arabia's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Adel al-Yubeir, in a recent interview with the German agency DPA.

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Although Iran has repeatedly clarified that it has never sought and will never seek to build nuclear weapons, the Saudi incumbent insisted that his country reserves the right to possess these weapons under the pretext of protecting the security of the Arab kingdom. "Saudi Arabia has made it very clear that it will do everything possible to protect its people and protect its territories," he added.

In another part of his statements, Al-Yubeir defended the current sanctions imposed by the current US administration, headed by Donald Trump, against Iran, for its nuclear program, claiming that "the Iranians have only responded under pressure."

However, the Saudi minister did not clarify the Saudi rulers' position given the possible changes that U.S. president-elect, Joe Biden, could carry out concerning the Iranian nuclear case and limited himself to respond: "We will have to consider it."

Iran asked the international community during the 1st Commission of the UN General Assembly to hold Riyadh accountable for its nuclear activities.
 
The Trump government, a close ally of the Saudi regime, has maintained a harsh policy of sanctions against Iran in recent years, mostly since the U.S. abandoned the nuclear deal - officially named the Comprehensive Joint Action Plan (CJAP) - in May 2018, while secretly providing "highly sensitive nuclear technology" to Riyadh.

Washington has also repeatedly accused Iran of violating the convention and developing nuclear weapons even though all of Tehran's nuclear activities and facilities are under the strict supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the framework of the commitments made in the nuclear agreement.

Al-Yubeir's statements on the Iranian nuclear program take place despite a report published in early August in the New York Times (NYT) that Riyadh is building a nuclear site on Saudi territory to process uranium and develop nuclear weapons.

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