Jubeir Warns Riyadh Can Develop Nuclear Weapons If Tehran Restarts Deadly Program


"We have made it very clear that if Iran acquires a nuclear capability we will do everything we can to do the same", Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al Jubeir told CNN's Wolf Blitzer when asked if Riyadh would "build a bomb itself".

Asked whether Saudi Arabia would "build a bomb itself" if Iran resumes its nuclear weapons program, Al-Jubeir said: "If Iran acquires nuclear capability we will do everything we can to do the same".

The Saudi official, who recently met with new Secretary Of State Mike Pompeo, also applauded the USA commander-in-chief for his decision on the Iran deal - becoming only country apart from Israel expressing its joy over the disturbing development that threatens to shatter the barely-there peace in the conflict-ridden Middle East.

Yesterday, President Donald Trump announced the United States would be withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal.

Saudi Arabia is now pursuing a nuclear program for what it claims to be energy purposes. The peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear program has repeatedly been confirmed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Reactors need uranium enriched to around five percent purity but the same technology for this process can be used to enrich the heavy metal to a higher, weapons-grade level.

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Riyadh has long accused its regional archfoe Tehran of supplying Yemen's rebels with ballistic missiles, a charge Tehran denies. "We believe the deal does not deal with Iran's ballistic missile program nor does it deal with Iran's support for terrorism".

Such behavior is unacceptable.

As a reminder of the threat, Saudi air defences intercepted ballistic missiles fired from Yemen over Riyadh and the southern city of Jizan Wednesday.

"I believe that if Iran restarts its nuclear weapons program, beyond what it has right now, that should trigger the snapback provisions and cause all the other P5 countries to abandon the deal and re-impose sanctions on Iran", Jubeir pointed out.

"We will find the right way and at the right time to respond to this ..." He further added that they do not want direct military action against Iran. This amounts to a declaration of war'. As Politifact noted, President Trump has repeatedly criticized the deal - during the presidential campaign and while president of the United States - so the decision to leave the agreement does not come as a surprise.

The US Treasury Department said there will be "certain 90-day and 180-day wind-down periods" after which the anti-Iran sanctions will be in "full effect", including sanctions against Iran's oil sector.