Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir hinted that his country would keep open all options, including pursing a nuclear weapon, if Iran obtained a nuclear weapon despite the newly implemented deal with world powers.
Saudi Arabia would do “whatever we need to do in order to protect our people,” al-Jubeir told Reuters.
“I don’t think it would be logical to expect us to discuss any such issue in public, and I don’t think it would be reasonable to expect me to answer this question one way or another,” he said.
Al-Jubeir’s comments come following the announcement that Iran sanctions would be lifted as part of the Islamic Republic’s compliance with the nuclear deal that was signed with world powers last summer. Saudi Arabia, like Israel, has been strongly critical of the nuclear deal, which it fears could embolden Iran’s regional ambitions such as supporting terror proxies in Syria and Yemen. Iran is set to receive nearly $150 billion in sanctions relief as part of the deal.
“It depends on where these funds go. If they go to support the nefarious activities of the Iranian regime, this will be a negative and it will generate a pushback. If they go towards improving the living standards of the Iranian people then it will be something that would be welcome,” Jubeir said.