Saudi Arabia will develop a nuclear bomb if Iran does so, the kingdom’s 32-year-old crown prince said in a preview of a television interview released on Thursday.
“Saudi Arabia does not want to acquire any nuclear bomb, but without a doubt if Iran developed a nuclear bomb, we will follow suit as soon as possible,” Prince Mohammed bin Salman told CBS in an interview that will air on Sunday.
The world’s top oil exporter has previously said it wants nuclear technology only for peaceful uses.
The government approved a national policy for its atomic energy program on Tuesday, including limiting all nuclear activities to peaceful purposes, within the limits defined by international treaties.
Reactors need uranium enriched to around five percent purity but the same technology in this process can also be used to enrich the heavy metal to a higher, weapons-grade level. This has been at the heart of Western and regional concerns over the nuclear work of Iran, which enriches uranium domestically.