In Saudi Arabia, there are widespread public calls to match Iran’s nuclear quest. “Our leaders will never allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon while we don’t,” said Ibrahim al-Marie, a retired Saudi colonel and a security analyst in Riyadh.
“If Iran declares a nuclear weapon, we can’t afford to wait 30 years more for our own – we should be able to declare ours within a week.” Saudi Arabia and its Sunni Arab allies are increasingly battling Shiite Iran in proxy conflicts across the region, from Syria to Yemen.
“If I am basing my judgment on the track record and our experience with Iran, I will say they will do anything in their power to get a nuclear weapon. A delay of 10 years is not going to satiate anything,” said Prince Faisal bin Saud bin Abdulmohsen, a scholar at the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies.