The declaration of the Prince of Saudi Arabia Turki Al Faisal about that Riyadh is able to start development of nuclear weapon pretty corresponds with the potential of this country. The case is that in due time Saudi Arabia provided financial aid within gaining of nuclear bomb by Pakistan. And, probably, with the contribution of Saudi Arabia a market for nuclear technologies and probably materials sale established around Pakistan. That is why considering close cooperation of the two states in this sphere, it wouldn’t be hard for Saudi Arabia to create nuclear bomb in short terms. The same is about carriers.
On the one hand, this statement can be observed also as a threat called to stimulate West to act more intensively towards the nuclear program of Iran. Most likely, that if Iran crosses nuclear line the first country to start creating nuclear bomb shall be Saudi Arabia, as within Near East these are the two most acute competitors after the couple Iran-Israel.
In order to prevent gaining of nuclear weapon by Riyadh and thus to stop the collapse of nuclear nonproliferation regime West should first of all influence the course of nuclear program of Iran. Except for that West can suggest Saudi Arabia other variants of this problem solution. In particular, the USA can cover Saudi Arabia with Missile Defense of the theater of military actions, which is pretty enough against Iran at the moment, and also can supply various offensive non-nuclear arms in order to restrain Iranian threat. For this the USA can use the radars in Turkey, grouping based in Indian Ocean, or can supply Saudi Arabia non-nuclear missile weapons.
Piotr Topychkanov – coordinator of the program “Nonproliferation Problems” of the Moscow Carnegie Center
Translated by EuroDialogueXXI from www.politcom.ru