Saudi Arabia has reportedly financed Pakistani-developed nuclear weapons, and the kingdom devises Islamabad will provide it atomic bombs upon request, the BBC reported Wednesday night.
The Gulf states have been concerned about Iran and its mission to extend its influence throughout the region. The worry has increased alongside the continued debate on the possibility of Iran obtaining nuclear weapons capabilities.
If what sources told the BBC is true, the kingdom may engage in a nuclear arms race to counter its main regional adversary, Iran, by acquiring such capabilities before the Islamic Republic.
The BBC report cited a senior NATO official as saying he had seen intelligence reports that Saudi-backed atomic weapons made in Pakistan had been developed and were allegedly ready for delivery to Riyadh.
In 2011, Saudi Arabia’s Prince Turki al-Faisal said his country might produce nuclear weapons if Iran got them
The report also cited comments made by former Military Intelligence chief Amos Yadlin pointing toward Saudi Arabia's quest to counter Iranian nuclear weapons.
If Tehran produces an atomic bomb, "the Saudis will not wait one month. They already paid for the bomb, they will go to Pakistan and bring what they need to bring," the BBC quote Yadlin as saying at a conference in Sweden last month. The Guardian
reported in 2010 that Western intelligence officials believed Pakistan promised to provide Saudi Arabia with nuclear weapons in the case of a crisis.
Meanwhile, Iran was due to meet with so-called P5+1 powers on Thursday and Friday in the second round of negotiations on its disputed nuclear program
Iran's foreign minister said on Thursday, an agreement that would open the door to a resolution of the decade-long nuclear standoff between Iran and six world powers is possible this week if negotiators exert the maximum efforts.
"If everyone tries their best we may have one," Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told reporters after a breakfast meeting with European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.
"We expect serious negotiations. It's possible," he said when asked if an agreement was conceivable at Thursday-Friday talks between Iran and the five permanent UN Security Council members and Germany. Ariel Ben Solomon and Reuters contributed to this report.