Saudi Arabia set to pursue nuclear weapons if Iran restarts program

Pearl Mccarthy
May 11, 2018

Yemen's Houthis fired a salvo of ballistic missiles at Saudi Arabia's capital Wednesday - an attack Saudi authorities said they intercepted in the skies over Riyadh.

"All potential violations of global humanitarian law should be thoroughly investigated and those responsible for violations must be held accountable", added the statement.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed deep concern at "the recent and sharp escalation" in the conflict, citing coalition airstrikes Monday that hit a government building and the firing of ballistic missiles by the Houthis toward different targets in Saudi Arabia on Sunday and Wednesday, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said. Such behaviour is unacceptable.

Unsurprisingly, this is not the first time a Saudi official has talked about pursuing nuclear weapons program.

The "threat" references the occasional missile attack from Yemen, a country that Saudi Arabia has blockaded and bombed into a situation of dire instability and poverty for over three years.

In another development on Thursday, Saudi Arabia tested a new siren system for the capital, Riyadh, and Eastern Province, amid retaliatory missile strikes from Yemen. This amounts to a declaration of war'.

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"We will find the right way and at the right time to respond to this", he warned.

'If I allowed this deal to stand, there would soon be a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, ' he said. "We believe the deal does not deal with Iran's ballistic missile program nor does it deal with Iran's support for terrorism".

Riyadh has long accused its regional archfoe Tehran of supplying Yemen's rebels with ballistic missiles, a charge Tehran denies. While the Gulf states may want to see the USA and Israel try to cut Iran to size, I don't think they want to get dragged into a direct confrontation themselves.

In an anticipated decision, Trump withdrew from the deal on Tuesday, having previously said that Iran was in violation of the "spirit" of the global agreement.

Saudi Arabia also protested Iran's growing foothold in the Middle East.

Trump later announced that the administration would instead be imposing new sanctions against Iran, which the US Treasury Department said would go effect in November 2018.

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