Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Saudi Arabia's medievalist Kingdom's atomic ambitions

Letter to The Times:


Your report on the Prime Minister's visit to the Gulf region this week ("May flexes UK's military muscle with Saudi visit," April 3; http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/may-flexes-uks-military-muscle-with-saudi-visit-j5k5c76vx) raises an important security question.

Last week a detailed new report (“Saudi Arabia’s Nuclear Ambitions and Proliferation Risks,” http://isis-online.org/isis-reports/detail/saudi-arabias-nuclear-ambitions-and-proliferation-risks) reveals that Saudi Arabia is  believed to be seeking nuclear weapons technology in a bid to counter the threat posed by Iran's nuclear program, which continues to operate in an advanced manner despite the landmark nuclear agreement.

The report by the Institute for Science and International Security based in Washington DC , led by Dr David Albright, a former US Government advisor, states

"Saudi Arabia is in the early stages of nuclear development" and is expected to "more actively seek nuclear weapons capabilities" in order to counter the ongoing threat posed by Iran.


It adds: "There is little reason to doubt that Saudi Arabia will more actively seek nuclear weapons capabilities, motivated by its concerns about the ending of the [nuclear deal's] major nuclear limitations starting after year 10 of the deal or sooner if the deal fails," the report notes. "If Iran expands its enrichment capabilities, as it states it will do, Tehran will reduce nuclear breakout times, or the time needed to produce enough weapon-grade uranium for a nuclear weapon, to weeks and then days."


Mrs May’s officials should surely read it.

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