Saudi Arabia has warned that it will develop its own nuclear weapon if regional rival Iran acquires one.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told US network CBS News his country did not want to acquire nuclear weapons.
« But without a doubt, if Iran developed a nuclear bomb, we would follow suit as soon as possible, » he added.
Iran limited its nuclear programme under a 2015 deal with several world powers – but US President Donald Trump has threatened to withdraw from it.
Saudi Arabia and Iran have long been rivals in the Middle East. Each is dominated by different branches of Islam – Sunni for Saudi Arabia, Shia for Iran – and they have historically supported opposing powers in regional conflicts.
In recent years, tensions have escalated over the wars in Syria and Yemen.
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Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is heir to the throne and also the Saudi defence minister, made the statement in an interview with CBS’s 60 Minutes programme.
He also explained why, in November, he called Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei « the new Hitler of the Middle East ».
« He wants to create his own project in the Middle East, very much like Hitler who wanted to expand at the time, » the crown prince said.
« Many countries around the world and in Europe did not realise how dangerous Hitler was until what happened, happened. I don’t want to see the same events happening in the Middle East. »
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