Nuclear Double Standard: No Sanctions Threat as Saudis Claim Right to Build an Atomic Bomb
March 29, 2015
Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Alexandra Jaffe / CNN
While US officials continue to obsess over Iran's civilian nuclear program, despite the nation repeatedly ruling out ever creating nuclear arms from it, the Saudi Ambassador to the US insists his nation will never make a similar pledge. At a time when the US is pressure Iran -- a nation that keeps disavowing militarization of its nuclear capabilities -- to avoid nuclear proliferation, Saudi Arabia's talk of its intentions to consider building its own nuclear arsenal, ought to be cause for concern.
We Won't Rule Out Making Nukes
Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com
(March 27, 2015) -- While US officials continue to obsess over Iran's civilian nuclear program, despite the nation repeatedly ruling out ever creating nuclear arms from it, the Saudi Ambassador to the United States today, on US television, insisted his nation will never make a similar pledge.
"This is not something we would discuss publicly," Ambassador al-Jubeir insisted during an interview on CNN, saying the decision to create nuclear weapons might be necessary for Saudi national security, and would never be negotiated over.
At a time when the US is going to great lengths to avoid nuclear proliferation, and great pains to pressure Iran, a nation which keeps disavowing militarization of its nuclear capabilities, overt talk from a non-nuclear state of its intentions to at least consider building such arms, ought to be cause for concern.
Yet so far, US officials seem not to be reacting to the Saudi comment at all, and given the long history of US officials giving the Saudis carte blanche to say and do whatever they want, they probably won't. If any public comment is made at all, expect the US to blame the whole thing on Iran.
Saudi Ambassador to US:
Won't Rule Out Building Nukes
Alexandra Jaffe / CNN
WASHINGTON (March 27, 2015) -- The Saudi Ambassador to the United States would not rule out the possibility of the Saudis creating their own nuclear bomb to counterbalance a nuclear-armed Iran in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Thursday.
"This is not something we would discuss publicly," Ambassador Adel Al-Jubeir said on "The Situation Room." Later, when pressed, he said, "This is not something that I can comment on, nor would I comment on."
"But the kingdom of Saudi Arabia will take whatever measures are necessary in order to protect its security," he added. "There are two things over which we do not negotiate: Our faith and our security."
Al-Jubeir said, however, the details disclosed by the Obama administration to the Saudis about the developing nuclear deal with Iran were "positive."
"I can't say that we like it, because we don't know the details," he said. "The assurances we have received from the administration have been positive but we want to see the details before we can make a judgment."
The Saudi ambassador said other countries in the Middle East are "concerned" about Iran potentially gaining nuclear weapons, but that the Obama administration has assured them "all paths leading to a nuclear weapon by Iran will be cut off" and there will be "very intrusive inspections" that will prevent such an outcome.
The Saudis, supported by allied forces, launched an air campaign on Thursday against rebel forces in Yemen that Saudis see as aligned with Iran. In an implicit reference to that conflict, which is rapidly escalating into what some see as a proxy war between the Saudis and Iran, Al-Jubeir said his nation is concerned about Iran's "interference in the affairs of other countries in the region."
"We believe Iran's behavior . . . is not reassuring to people in the region," he said.
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