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Saudi Arabia wants nuclear weapons

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Saudi Arabia will not rule out building or acquiring nuclear weapons, the country’s ambassador to the United States has indicated.

Asked whether Saudi Arabia would ever build nuclear weapons in an interview with US news channel CNN, Adel Al-Jubeir said the subject was “not something we would discuss publicly”.

Pressed later on the issue he said: “This is not something that I can comment on, nor would I comment on.”

The ambassador’s reticence to rule out a military nuclear programme may reignite concerns that the autocratic monarchy has its eye on a nuclear arsenal.

Western intelligence agencies believe that the Saudi monarchy paid for up to 60% of Pakistan’s nuclear programme in return for the ability to buy warheads for itself at short notice, the Guardian newspaper reported in 2010.

The two countries maintain close relations and are sometimes said to have a special relationship; they currently have close military ties and conduct joint exercises.

The Saudi Arabian regime also already possesses medium-range ballistic missiles in the form of the Royal Saudi Strategic Missile Force.

In addition it has significant nuclear expertise in the form of a civilian nuclear programme of the kind Iran says it wants to develop.

In 2012 the Saudi Arabian government threatened to acquire nuclear weapons were neighbouring regional power Iran ever to do so.

“Politically, it would be completely unacceptable to have Iran with a nuclear capability and not the kingdom,”  a senior Saudi source told The Times newspaper at the time.

The United States and other Western allies say a deal with Iran on its nuclear programme is possible. Iran denies it is building nuclear weapons.

The news comes days after Saudi Arabia launched a military operation in neighbouring Yemen aimed at suppressing a rebel group that is attempting to form a central government.

Saudi’s military operation against the advancing Shia Houthi group has been joined by Egyptian, Jordanian and Moroccan forces.

20 Comments on "Saudi Arabia wants nuclear weapons"

  1. Plantagenet on Sat, 28th Mar 2015 7:40 pm 

    Of course the Saudis want nuclear weapons. If Obama is going to let the Iranians break out of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, then everyone else is going to want out of the Nuclear non-proliferation treaty as well..

  2. peakyeast on Sat, 28th Mar 2015 8:07 pm 

    Well – it is anyway about time for the U.S. to create some demand destruction in KSA.

  3. Chris Hill on Sat, 28th Mar 2015 9:57 pm 

    I’d want nuclear weapons as well, if I lived where they do. If Iran took over Iraq, that could give Saudi Arabia a huge problem on their border, then there is Israel yammering back and forth with Iran with Saudi Arabia between them. sounds like the dictionary definition of untenable.

  4. Sugar Seam on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 12:38 am 

    when does the 28 pages get declassified? … should put a halt to those designs.

  5. shortonoil on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 6:39 am 

    Nonsense! The Saudi aren’t going to build anything, they’ll just buy it. Wonder how much a 10 Megaton Chinese nuclear weapon (that goes off sometimes) cost?

  6. peakyeast on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 8:25 am 

    @Chris: Could you please tell me how many times the Rabid Iranians has attacked another country in – say the past 200 years?

    Also please compare that to how many times for example the peaceloving americans has attacked another country in the same period.

  7. Davy on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 8:50 am 

    Peaky, they have not attacked any countries directly but they have indirectly cause conflict that is well documented.

  8. Makati1 on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 8:54 am 

    Short, do you really think their nukes are not as reliable as those made in the UFSA? Want to bet your life on it? The country that can make the world’s fastest super computer can certainly make a nuclear firecracker. They have a long history with explosives.

    That obsolete view of the rest of the world seems to match Davy’s. Or is it the inability to believe that other countries might just be better at many things than the ‘exceptional’ country? World War 3 might be an eye opener for Americans. I don’t want my kids to find out some day.

  9. Makati1 on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 9:00 am 

    Davy, the US is a master at indirect conflict for the last 70 years. Again the finger pointing and the ones pointing right back at you.

    “Why Latin America Rejects US Military Presence”
    “The Money Trail: How the US Fostered Yemen’s Separatist Movement”
    “Four Years of Syrian Resistance to Imperialist Takeover”
    “Manufacturing Dissent”
    “The War on Yugoslavia: The Real Face of American “Diplomacy”
    And on and on…

  10. Davy on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 9:31 am 

    Makster did I deny that? Where in my comment did I deny that? See, that is how you operate if anything negative is said about your super heros or something is said not anti-American it is called finger pointing. Balance Makster what part of balance don’t you friggen understand dense old man.

    The US is the master of all conflicts direct and indirect. How are you going to argue that. Does that make you feel better?

  11. shortonoil on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 12:39 pm 

    Short, do you really think their nukes are not as reliable as those made in the UFSA?

    Nuclear weapons are notoriously unreliable. SAC estimates that half of US weapons would detonate in a full scale nuclear exchange, the Russians have admitted that 25% of their weapons would go off. I could go into mountains of technical details as to why they don’t work very often, but it is sufficient to say that there is less than 6 microseconds between the time that the explosive charge ignites and the plutonium sphere collapses, and when the trigger fires. These aren’t Dudley Do Right bombs.

    The Chinese still haven’t figured out how to make a CPU, to say nothing of a nuclear devise that may work most of the time. Not only are they very difficult to build, they are extraordinarily difficult to keep operational. Most triggers only last about 6 months, although the US military says they have triggers that will work for a few years. Under battle field conditions the situation is worse. You have to build a lot of bombs to get it right, and the Chinese just haven’t built that many.

    The whole scare tactic used on the American people about a mushroom cloud over New York was one complete load of BS. There is not a terrorist group in the world that had anywhere near the technical expertise to pull that off. If you drag a nuclear devise across the desert, load it onto a ship and haul it to Manhattan, when you pull the trigger there is a 99.99% chance that all you are going to get is one big nuclear fart.

    No one has used a nuclear devise against anyone else since the US dropped its two weapons on Japan. Even then the Pentagon wasn’t sure that they would work, and figured that they just may be delivering a nuclear weapon prototype to the Japanese. If you drop a nuclear devise on someone that has a 25% chance of detonating, you have a 75% chance that you just really pissed someone off. Don’t believe everything that you see on CNN, if it concerns nuclear weapons it is probably a healthy load of bull turds.

  12. Davy on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 1:14 pm 

    Damn, short, well put and that comment will be added to my copy and paste notes of better comments.

    That sure blew Maks ship out of the water. See Mak not everything operate on agendas and has a faux reality relationship with your Asia good West bad defining meme.

  13. Hugh Culliton on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 1:34 pm 

    Call me crazy, but am I the only one to think that it’s a really, really bad idea for a Wahabbist, absolute monarchy that’s vastly over-populated and fast running out of the oil that’s been it’s only economic lifeblood for the last several decades, to start stock piling nukes? A state that happens to sit in middle of the most geopolitically unstable region on Earth? Nothing bad can come of this, right? (He says as he starts planning his family fall-out shelter).

  14. frankthetank on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 1:38 pm 

    Funny if Pakistan sends nukes to Saudi Arabia and they are all just confetti bombs… How would Saudis know they are getting the real thing?

  15. shortonoil on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 2:50 pm 

    Funny if Pakistan sends nukes to Saudi Arabia and they are all just confetti bombs… How would Saudis know they are getting the real thing?

    Somewhere on a nuke is a button?

  16. hiruitnguyse on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 3:21 pm 

    My nuclear triggers, I assume you are talking about the Poloniuim/Berrylium initiators.

  17. Makati1 on Sun, 29th Mar 2015 8:18 pm 

    Short, Davy, you may be correct with the stats, but if you think there will only be one warhead per city, you are mistaken. I think those multiple warhead missiles will make sure at least one goes off on target. They would be fools to not plan for duds. WW1 & WW2 were full of them from all sides.

    So, I still say that, for no other reason, the Chinese bombs are newer and reasonably current tech, and more likely to work. Whereas, the Russian and US bombs are getting old and not up to date technically. The Russians are correcting that situation but the US is still deciding…

    Current Nuke tally per Wiki:
    US – 7,700
    Russia – 8,500
    China – 250? Or?

    We live in a very dangerous and exciting world, don’t we? Duck and cover!

    BTW: What do they know that we don’t*?

    *started decades ago.

  18. baptised on Mon, 30th Mar 2015 11:48 am 

    Aren’t chemical weapons the much more destructive device? I have always believed that chemical weapons was a part, all be it a small part, why bushy wanted Saddam. Plus USA propaganda is so silent on chems.

  19. Don on Mon, 30th Mar 2015 1:59 pm 

    Couple things:

    Modern warheads don’t use the soccer ball method anymore Short, we take 2 hemispheres of Pu239 put them at opposite ends of a tube with a Po210 nugget in the center, (the trigger) explosives force the two hemispheres together the Po is crushed and feeds the Pu with the neutrons it needs to achieve criticality the whole thing is surrounded by a deuteride salt, (which makes it a hydrogen bomb), that you can think of as a catalyst for making a much larger explosion and better utilization of the Pu, a lot less gets wasted.

    Mak you are right, most strategic missiles are MIRVs. They have multiple warheads in their payload. The biggest problem is not whether the warhead will go off but whether its carrier will make it to its destination.

    Mak I am not sure if you are using the word bomb interchangeably with missile. Not that it is a large arguing point, but the US is the only country that currently has a delivery vehicle able to pull off such an endeavor with bombs, and we have 21 of them. ICBMs kind of make the point mute however. When it comes to strategic nuclear weaponry the purpose is served whether you have 250 or 7,700. Strategic warheads are designed not to be used. This is the reason why the US has invested heavily in tactical warheads. Small nukes that are designed to be used. if you use a strategic warhead you take out an entire city triggering MAD. If you use a tactical warhead you can reduce that to 4 city blocks and achieve your goal without causing a nuclear apocalypse.

    Baptised, I am not sure why you would think chem weapons are more destructive, the whole point of chem weapons is to be non destructive. Yes we did go after and find most of Iraq’s chem weapons, a few thousand. This was kept secret however, until a few months ago when it was foia’d out. You are right it didn’t get much, if any, coverage in the news, not sure why. On a side note did you know the guy that invented Zyclon A as a rat poison was Jewish. Horribly ironic.

  20. baptised on Tue, 31st Mar 2015 8:43 am 

    Don I am thinking along the lines, that nukes require complicated expense people and machines to make, move, and preserve. A much smaller group of owners, which the dominant large countries enjoy, ie. keep an eye on things. Where chemical weapons can be made fast and cheap and under radar. They could be disbursed easily in any city. And by many more smaller countries. It cannot be covered in the news because ideas flourish.

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