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Saudi Arabia will develop nuclear bomb if Iran does, says Crown Prince

The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammad Bin Salman Al-Saud arrives at No.10 Downing street in London, United Kingdom on 7 March, 2018. [Kate Green/Anadolu Agency]
Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammad Bin Salman Al-Saud on 7 March, 2018 [Kate Green/Anadolu Agency]

Saudi Arabia will develop a nuclear bomb if Iran makes the same move, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince, Mohammed Bin Salman, warned yesterday.

Speaking in an interview with CBC News, Salman said: "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."

Dismissing Iran as a rival to the Kingdom, Salman added: "Its [Iran's] army is not among the top five armies in the Muslim world and the Saudi economy is larger than the Iranian economy."

"Iran is far from being equal to Saudi Arabia," he stressed.

The 32-year-old Saudi royal also described Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, as "the new Hitler" in the Middle East, claiming that "he wants to expand, he wants to create his own project in the Middle East very much like Hitler who wanted to expand at the time."

Read: Saudi seeking to beef up domestic weapons industry

Image of a nuclear power plant [Tennessee Valley Authority/Wikipedia]

Nuclear power plant [Tennessee Valley Authority/Wikipedia]

"Many countries around the world and in Europe did not realise how dangerous Hitler was until what happened happened. I don't want to see the same events happening in the Middle East," the Saudi Crown Prince said.

Bin Salman is due to begin an official visit to the American capital of Washington on Monday to press the US to give Riyadh the reserved right to enrich uranium in return for it choosing American nuclear technology.

Fears of a nuclear arms race between Tehran and Riyadh are growing as US President Donald Trump warns that the US may pull out of the Iran nuclear deal and after Saudi announced it was pursuing a civilian nuclear energy programme.

The nuclear deal with Iran imposed strict curbs on the Iranian nuclear programme in return for sanctions relief.

Saudi Arabia has repeatedly stressed that it wants nuclear technology "only for peaceful uses" but has not clarifying whether it also wants to enrich uranium for nuclear fuel production.

Late last year, Saudi signed an agreement with Russia to build nuclear power stations in the Kingdom.

Read more: The Kingdom of corruption

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