Thursday, May 21, 2015

Saudi Arabia: Headed Toward Becoming Nuclear Armed and Dangerous?

Saudi Arabia: Headed Toward Becoming Nuclear Armed and Dangerous?

by Stephen Lendman

Saudi Arabia is a radicalized Islamist police state threatening the entire region with terrorism and belligerence.

Reports indicate Riyadh wants or intends becoming nuclear armed - on the bogus pretext of countering Iran's known peaceful nuclear program. 

Last November, BBC diplomatic and defence editor Mark Urban said months earlier "a senior NATO decision maker told me that he had seen intelligence reporting that nuclear weapons made in Pakistan on behalf of Saudi Arabia are now sitting ready for delivery."

They're paid for - ready to be shipped on request. A WikiLeaks reported State Department cable called it "logical for the Saudis to step in as the physical 'protector' of the Arab world by seeking nuclear weapons."

Former Israeli military intelligence chief retired general Amos Yadlin calls the Saudi threat to acquire nuclear weapons "very credible an imminent."

So far, Riyadh prefers having them held in Pakistan. It provides plausible deniability. It avoids challenging Iran provocatively - besides further destabilizing the entire region already reeling from US imperial marauding and Israeli aggression.

At the same time, intelligence officials believe Riyadh can deploy nuclear weapons and effective delivery systems faster than previously imagined.

RT International reported the story. Nuclear armed Saudi Arabia should scare everyone.

"For the Saudis the moment has come," RT quoted a former unnamed US defense official.

He told London's Sunday Times "(t)here has been a longstanding agreement in place with the Pakistanis, and the House of Saud has now made its strategic decision to move forward."

No weapons delivery occurred so far - but "the Saudis means what they say and they will do what they say," the former US defense official was quoted as saying.

At an April South-Korea-based Asan Institute for Policy Studies conference, former Saudi intelligence chief prince Turki bin Faisal expressed Riyadh's desire for nuclear weapons.

"Whatever the Iranians have, we will have, too," he said - knowing Tehran neither has nor wants nuclear weapons. It's the region's leading advocate for abolishing them altogether.

An anonymous UK official said Western military leaders "all assume the Saudis have made the decision to go nuclear."

"The fear is that other Middle Eastern powers - Turkey and Egypt - may feel compelled to do the same, and we will see a new, even more dangerous, arms race."

Whether Pakistan intends honoring its obligation to Riyadh remains to be seen.

Former State Department official Mark Fitzpatrick is a non-proliferation expert. On the one hand, Riyadh bankrolled Pakistan's nuclear program, he said.

On the other, its reputation suffered greatly when it allegedly helped North Korea and perhaps other countries with nuclear weapons development, he added.

Fitzpatrick doubts Pakistan intends supplying Riyadh with these weapons. It knows doing so entails "huge diplomatic and reputational costs," he explained.

The whole world knows Iran neither has or intends developing nuclear weapons. No evidence suggests otherwise.

Perhaps leaking information about a potential Saudi bomb is Riyadh's way to get Washington to stay hardline on Tehran.

Nothing indicates softening US policy. Relations between both countries remain hostile. 

P5+1 talks haven't changed Washington's longstanding regime change aims. 

It wants control regained over its former client state - perhaps by war if other options fail.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

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