‘We’ll enter nuclear arms race if Iran does’
Saudi Arabia has warned that it will develop its own nuclear weapon if regional rival Iran acquires one.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told US network CBS News in an interview that aired on Thursday on “CBS This Morning” his country did not want to acquire nuclear weapons.
“But without a doubt, if Iran developed a nuclear bomb, we would follow suit as soon as possible,” he added.
Iran limited its nuclear program under a 2015 deal with several world powers – but President Trump has threatened to withdraw from it.
Likening Iran’s leader to Hitler, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is heir to the throne and also the Saudi defense minister warned Tehran has expansionist plans.
The 32-year-old Prince Mohammed said he referred to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as “the new Hitler” because “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,” he said.
“Many countries around the world and in Europe did not realize how dangerous Hitler was until what happened, happened. I don’t want to see the same events happening in the Middle East.”
Saudi Arabia and Iran have long been rivals in the Middle East. In recent years, tensions have escalated over the wars in Syria and Yemen.
The interview will also air on CBS’s “60 Minutes” show on Sunday, two days before the crown prince’s scheduled White House meeting with President Trump.