MBS: Saudis will pursue nuclear weapons if Iran does

Saudi leaders have repeatedly praised Trump’s strong stance on Iran deal [Bandar Algaloud/Reuters]

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince has announced his country’s readiness to develop nuclear weapons in the event Iran heads in that direction.

The kingdom has expressed alarm at what it views as creeping Iranian influence in the region and has stepped up its efforts to contain what it considers Iran’s expansion through proxy conflicts and direct military engagement in Yemen.

“Saudi Arabia does not want to acquire any nuclear bomb, but without a doubt if Iran developed a nuclear bomb, we will follow suit as soon as possible,” Mohammad bin Salman, popularly known as MBS, told US broadcaster CBS in an interview set to air on Sunday.

MBS, 34, reiterated statements made earlier comparing Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and Hitler.

“He wants to create his own project in the Middle East very much like Hitler, who wanted to expand at the time,” the prince told CBS.

“Many countries around the world and in Europe did not realize how dangerous Hitler was until what happened, happened. I don’t want to see the same events happening in the Middle East.”

Saudi Arabia has been a heavy critic of the Iran nuclear deal reached in 2015, which it says will alleviate Iran’s economic woes and allow it to prop up affiliates like Hezbollah.

Saudi authorities have repeatedly commended President Trump’s tough stance on the Iran nuclear deal.