Courtesy: Dawn News/AFP/Twitter
WASHINGTON: Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has said that his country was moving steadily closer to normalizing relations with Israel and also warned that if Iran gets a nuclear weapon, we have to get one.
“Every day we get closer,” the crown prince told Fox News, according to excerpts of an interview to be shown later on Wednesday, when asked to characterise talks aimed at long-time foes Israel and Saudi Arabia reaching a landmark agreement to open diplomatic relations.
MBS also voiced concern about the possibility that Iran, a mutual adversary of Saudi Arabia and Israel that the US wants to contain, could obtain a nuclear weapon. Tehran has denied seeking a nuclear bomb.
“That’s a bad move,” he said. “If you use it, you got to have a big fight with the rest of the world.”
Asked what would happen if Iran did get a nuclear bomb, MBS said: “If they get one, we have to get one.”
While U.S. officials insist any breakthrough is far away, they privately tout the potential benefits of a regional mega-deal, including removing a possible flashpoint in the Arab-Israeli conflict, strengthening the bulwark against Iran and countering China’s inroads in the Gulf. Biden would also score a foreign policy win as he seeks re-election in November 2024.
The broadcast of the crown prince’s comments will follow a meeting between Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday in which they pledged to work together toward Israeli-Saudi normalization, which could reshape the geopolitics of the Middle East. Both leaders also said Iran could not be allowed to acquire a nuclear weapon.