LAHORE – Saudi Arabia has been in discussion with Pakistan over the acquisition of nuclear weapons, according to US sources.
A former US defense official on the condition of anonymity said: “For the Saudis, the moment has come.”
“There has been a longstanding agreement in place with the Pakistanis, and the House of Saud has now made the strategic decision to move forward.” He added
He denied any actual fissile material has been transferred yet, but warned that the Saudis meant what they said and they would do what they said.
Saudi Arabia has long regarded Iran’s nuclear programme with alarm and has insisted that it would initiate the urge to match any military threat from the country.
“Whatever the Iranians have, we will have, too,” former Saudi intelligence head Prince Turki bin Faisal said last month at a conference held by the South Korean-based Institute for Policy Studies, according to the New York Times.
He added that any deal between Iran and the West over their nuclear programme would open the door to nuclear proliferation, contrary to what was intended initially.
“Nuclear weapon programme is extremely expensive and there’s no question that a lot of the funding of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons programme was provided by Saudi Arabia,” Lord David Owen, who served as England’s foreign secretary from 1977-1979, said while commenting on the issue.
An anonymous UK military official told Pakistani media that Western military leaders had assumed the Saudis had made the decision to go nuclear and warned that this could spur on others as well.