May 10, 2018 (DESPARDES/PKONWEB) — Saudi Arabia will seek to develop its own nuclear weapons if Iran does, Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir told CNN on Wednesday.
“If Iran acquires nuclear capability we will do everything we can to do the same.”
Jubeir’s renewed vow came after US President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of an accord designed to prevent Tehran’s alleged quest for the bomb.
The Saudi Foreign Minister welcomed Trump’s decision to withdraw from the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), a landmark nuclear agreement still supported by China, France, Germany, Russia and the U.K. Trump joined Israel and Saudi Arabia in accusing the accord of being too lenient on Iran’s nuclear activities, ballistic missile development and support for militias across the Middle East.
“We believe that the nuclear deal was flawed,” Minister Al Jubeir said, mirroring President Trump’s belief that the agreement was “defective at its core.”
As Iran reconsiders its commitment to the deal that no longer protects it from U.S. sanctions, Jubeir told CNN that “I believe that if Iran restarts its enrichment program beyond what it has right now that should trigger the snapback provision and cause all the other P5 [U.N. Security Council’s five permanent members] countries to abandon the deal and reimpose sanctions on Iran.”
When asked what Saudi Arabia will do, Jubeir said, “We will whatever it takes to protect our people, we have made it clear that if Iran acquires a nuclear capability, we will do everything we can to do the same.”
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s capital city has come under missile attack just hours after Trump scrapped the Iran nuclear deal.
Four loud booms were heard as missiles were fired at the city of Riyadh in the latest incident to hit the Middle East.
Saudi military commanders said they successfully intercepted a missile before it could hit its targets.
The Houthi rebels in Yemen have claimed responsibility for the attack as the Middle East sits on the brink of war.
Iran has been supporting the Huthi rebels in Yemen, who have been firing rockets across the border.
“These missiles are Iranian manufactured and delivered to the Huthis. Such behavior is unacceptable. It violates UN Resolutions with regards to ballistic missiles. And the Iranians must be held accountable for this,” Jubeir told CNN.
“We will find the right way and at the right time to respond to this,” he warned. “We are trying to avoid at all costs direct military action with Iran, but Iran’s behavior such as this cannot continue. This amounts to a declaration of war.”