Report: Saudi Will Develop Nuclear Bomb if Iran Does
The crown prince of Saudi Arabia said his country will develop nuclear weapons if its rival Iran does.
Prince Mohammed bin Salman told the American television network CBS, "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."
The CBS report with the prince will air on Sunday.
The prince's statement raised the chances of a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.
Saudi Arabia, a Sunni Muslim kingdom, and Iran, a Shi'ite-majority republic, are longtime rivals. The two countries are backing opposing groups in armed conflicts in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.
Saudi Arabia has criticized the 2015 nuclear deal between world powers and Iran. The deal lifted economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for limits on its nuclear energy program.
U.S. President Donald Trump has described that agreement as a "terrible deal." The United States will restart sanctions against the country unless Trump issues new "waivers" to suspend them on May 12.
An American withdrawal from the nuclear deal would likely lead to the restarting of nuclear development in Iran.
Civilian nuclear program
Saudi Arabia is currently developing a civilian nuclear energy program to reduce its economy's dependence on oil.
Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter, has previously said it wants nuclear technology only for peaceful uses. But it is unclear whether it also wants to enrich uranium to produce nuclear fuel. The process can also be used to produce atomic weapons.
The United States, South Korea, Russia, France and China are competing for a deal to build the country's first two nuclear reactors.
American companies can only transfer nuclear technology to a country that has signed an agreement that rules out domestic uranium enrichment and the preprocessing of spent nuclear fuel. Such steps can have military uses.
So far, Saudi Arabia has refused to sign any agreement that would take away its ability to one day enrich uranium. This has been at the center of worldwide concerns over Iran's nuclear program, which enriches uranium domestically.
1.nuclear program 核项目
He said the North Korean nuclear program poses a grave threat to the peace and security of the world.
2.without a doubt 毫无疑问
The refugees, without a doubt, are the most vulnerable.
3.So far 到目前为止
So far we haven't been able to find anything, but we're still researching.
4.economic sanctions 经济制裁
The United States plans to tighten the economic sanctions currently in place.
5.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."
as soon as possible 尽早地；尽早地
I take the view that she should be stopped as soon as possible.
It is wise to seek help and counsel as soon as possible.
6.So far, Saudi Arabia has refused to sign any agreement that would take away its ability to one day enrich uranium.
take away 拿走；剥夺
They're going to take my citizenship away.
Two men claiming to be police officers called at the pastor's house and took him away.
王储穆罕默德·本·萨勒曼（Mohammed bin Salman）对美国CBS电视网络表示，“沙特不想获得任何核弹 。但是毫无疑问，如果伊朗发展核弹，我们也会紧随其后 。”
逊尼派穆斯林国家沙特阿拉伯和以什叶派为主的伊朗共和国是一对宿敌 。两国在伊拉克、叙利亚、黎巴嫩以及也门的武装冲突中分别支持对立的组织 。
沙特指责了世界大国与伊朗于2015年签订的核协议 。该协议解除了对伊朗的经济制裁，条件是伊朗限制其核能源项目 。
美国总统特朗普称，这是一项“可怕的协议 。”除非特朗普在5月12日发布新的“豁免”条款暂停制裁，否则美国将重启对伊朗的制裁措施 。
此前，全球头号石油出口国沙特曾表示，希望核技术只用于和平用途 。但是目前尚不清楚该国是否有意以浓缩铀来生产核燃料 。有关过程也可用来制造原子武器 。
美国公司只能将核技术转让给签署了“排除在国内进行铀浓缩和废核燃料处理”协议的国家 。这些步骤也可用于军事用途 。
到目前为止，沙特拒绝签署任何欲剥夺该国未来具备浓缩铀能力的协议 。这一直是全球对伊朗核计划的关注焦点——伊朗在国内进行铀浓缩核实验的计划 。