DUBAI: Sunday, Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister said that if Iran got a nuclear weapon, its Gulf Arab neighbors would do something to protect them.
In September, indirect talks between the US and Iran to salvage a 2015 nuclear agreement between global powers and Iran, which Washington left in 2018, came to a halt. The UN nuclear chief has expressed concern regarding Tehran’s recent announcement that it was increasing its capacity for enrichment.
When asked about such a scenario, Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud stated, “If Iran gets an operational nuclear weapon, all bets are off” during an on-stage interview at the World Policy Conference in Abu Dhabi.
“You can expect that regional states will certainly look towards how they can ensure their own security” because “we are in a very dangerous space in the region.”
The Western powers have accused Iran of making unreasonable demands, the focus has shifted to the Russia-Ukraine war and domestic unrest in Iran over the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in custody, and the nuclear talks have stopped.
Prince Faisal stated that Riyadh supported efforts to revive the Iran nuclear deal “on condition that it be a starting point, not an end point” for a stronger deal with Tehran, despite Riyadh’s continued “scepticism” regarding the agreement.
Sunni Arab states have pressed for a stronger agreement to address their concerns about the missile and drone program and regional proxy network of Shi’ite Iran.
Prince Faisal stated, “The signs right now are not very positive unfortunately.”
“We hear from the Iranians that they care very little about an atomic weapons program, it would be extremely soothing to have the option to trust that. On that level, we require additional security.”
Iran claims that it only uses its nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
Given the current spotlight on Tehran’s weapons and Western states’ accusations that Russia is using Iranian drones to attack targets in Ukraine, a senior Emirati official stated on Saturday that there was an opportunity to revisit “the whole concept” of the nuclear pact. Russia and Iran deny the allegations.