Report: Saudi Arabia to consider acquiring nukes

Prince Turki al-Faisal tells Riyadh security forum of "duty" to consider nuclear weapons in face of regional arms race.

December 6, 2011 17:48
1 minute read.
Prince Turki Al-Faisal of Saudi Arabia.

Saudi former intelligence head Turki al faisal 311 R. (photo credit: REUTERS/Molly Riley )

Saudi Arabia will consider acquiring nuclear weapons, AFP reported a former Saudi intelligence chief as saying on Monday.

According to the report, Prince Turki al-Faisal told a Riyadh security forum that because efforts to convince Israel and Iran to forgo nuclear weapons failed, "it is our duty towards our nation and people to consider all possible options, including the possession of these weapons."

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"A (nuclear) disaster befalling one of us would affect us all," continued Faisal, who was director general of the Saudi General Intelligence Directorate from 1977 to 2001.

Saudi Arabia's nuclear coordinator Abdul Ghani Malibari announced in June that over the next 20 years, Riyadh plans to build 16 civilian nuclear reactors at a cost of about $80 billion, according to AFP.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak expressed concern in mid-November that if Iran succeeded in developing a nuclear weapon, a Middle East arms race would ensue with Saudi Arabia and Egypt eventually seeking nuclear weapons as well.

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