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Saudi Prince: Cut the Head off the Snake Or We'll Get Our Own Bomb

America has always feared that a nuclear Iran would lead to a Middle Eastern arms race. Speaking at a regional security forum in Riyadh earlier this week, Saudi Arabia’s Prince Turki Al-Faisal (former ambassador to the US and intelligence chief) stepped up the pressure. The NYT reports:

Prince Turki said at the forum on Monday that an Iranian quest for nuclear weapons and Israel’s presumed nuclear arsenal might force Saudi Arabia to follow suit…

“It is our duty toward our nation and people to consider all possible options, including the possession of these weapons,” Prince Turki was quoted as saying.

The nuclear virus is catching.  Iran’s quest for the bomb is unacceptable to the US given that country’s alliances with terror groups and unremitting hostility toward others in the region, but it is understandable given that neighboring Pakistan and Israel are both in the nuclear club.  But an Iranian bomb means that the Saudis will get one — and since the Saudis play a major role in Pakistan they will have less trouble than most if they decide to go that route. Once the Saudis have a bomb, countries like Turkey and Egypt will not want to accept second class citizenship.

Prince Turki is probably not speaking at this point of any concrete plans. His comments are meant to goad President Obama to take a more hawkish approach toward Iran and to remind the White House that a nuclear Iran will kill any remaining hope to limit nuclear weapons to a handful of countries.

If the House of Saud loses confidence in America’s will or capacity to defend it, a nuclear stockpile is the obvious alternative.  Prince Turki does not want anyone in the White House to forget this bitter truth.  Those who pooh pooh the chances that the Obama White House could be forced into overt as opposed to covert military action against the Iranian weapons program are underestimating the forces pushing the US to block the Iranian drive.

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  • Fred

    I hope you’re right, but I still don’t think Obama’s got the stones.

  • Kris

    I’m not exactly the biggest Saudi fan. I would hate for them to go nuclear. But if Iran is allowed to get nuclear weapons, it would be insane for the Saudis not to do so as well. Mr Obama, this is your 3 AM phone call.

  • Kris

    “Cut the Head off the Snake Or We’ll Get Our Own Bomb”

    Putting it another way: kill the snake or face a Hydra.

  • Ken Marks

    Buried in this statement: “The nuclear virus is catching. Iran’s quest for the bomb is unacceptable to the US given that country’s alliances with terror groups and unremitting hostility toward others in the region, but it is understandable given that neighboring Pakistan and Israel are both in the nuclear club.” is the phrase: “but it is understandable”. This caught my eye. Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons is understandable only if you understand that they want to terrorize the world with them and wipe Israel off the map. It is NOT understandable if it is only an issue of fending off supposed aggressors or securing adequate energy supply. It IS understandable if you realize that the leaders of this state are bloodthirsty psychopathic killers in search of people to kill. The war-like tenets of Islam are a convenient excuse for rationalizing that what they are planning to do will be acceptable to God.

  • ErisGuy

    If the Saudis want something done let them spend their money and their lives achieving their goal.

  • Tom Holsinger

    All this is very predictable, and I did so six years ago:

    “If the United States does not forcibly prevent Iran from producing nuclear weapons, every country in the area will know to a moral certainty that they cannot rely on the United States for protection against Iranian nuclear attack, or Iranian nuclear blackmail in support of domestic opposition to the generally shaky regimes of the Middle East. American prestige and influence there will collapse. If we won’t protect ourselves by pre-emption, we can’t be relied on to protect anyone else.

    So every country within reach of Iranian nuclear weapons will have enormous strategic pressure to develop their own nuclear weapons to deter Iranian nuclear threats …

    All of those countries having nuclear weapons will create a security nightmare …

    We better than most can economically afford the thoroughly intrusive security measures required to protect against terrorist nukes when the threat can come from anywhere, as opposed to Islamic extremists alone.

    But the price of domestic security, when foreign security fails due to a failure of leadership and will by President Bush, will be something much more precious – our freedom.

    Freedom everywhere will suffer due to those same security precautions. The greatest loss of freedom will come in those countries which are freest, i.e., especially America. Especially us.

    THIS is what is really at stake – the freedom which makes us Americans.”

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