The recent statement by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman that his country would acquire nuclear weapons if Iran had them has understandably raised serious concern, albeit for the wrong reasons. The statement raised red flags because the crown prince openly said that Saudi Arabia would enhance its military capacity to counterbalance those of its neighbors, particularly Iran. The Middle East is in a state of turmoil from North Africa through the Levant and southwards to the Arabian Gulf. A natural consequence of ongoing conflicts is militarization, be that at the level of conventional armaments or weapons of mass destruction. Arms expenditures—whether by acquisition from abroad, or as part of domestic industrial production—are at an historic high. The Saudi crown prince was actually only projecting policies that neighbors, as well as the major powers globally, have pursued since the beginning of the Cold War. In fact, both Israel and Iran have greatly enhanced their domestic military industrial capacity, including nuclear technology. Israel is reported to have over 200 nuclear warheads, and has not signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). Both countries have acquired sophisticated delivery systems.
Cairo Review (accessed) 20th May 2018 read more »