Saudi Arabia has been hinting for a few months now that it would pursue nuclear weapons as a deterrent to its rival Iran. Now its intentions are explicit, as The Wall Street Journal reports, quoting two Saudi officials: “‘We prefer a region without nuclear weapons. But if Iran does it, nothing can prevent us from doing it too, not even the international community,’ said Abdullah al Askar, a member and former chairman of the foreign affairs committee of Saudi Arabia’s advisory legislature. ‘Our leaders will never allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon while we don’t,’ added Ibrahim al-Marie, a retired Saudi colonel and a security analyst in Riyadh. ‘If Iran declares a nuclear weapon, we can’t afford to wait 30 years more for our own — we should be able to declare ours within a week.’” Clearly, the Saudis don’t trust Barack Obama’s deal-making prowess, or the Iranians’ word that all they want is nuclear power, not weapons. Saudi Sunnis and Iranian Shiites don’t get along too well, and, like India and Pakistan, once one goes nuclear, the other will too. So much for Obama’s efforts at non-proliferation.
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