Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister said that Gulf Arab nations would increase their security if Iran were to obtain nuclear weapons.
Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saudi said that if Tehran were to obtain nuclear weapons, “all bets are off.” The remarks came while he was on stage for an interview at the World Policy Conference in Abu Dhabi.
Indirect talks between the U.S. and Iran to salvage the 2015 nuclear deal between world powers and Iran stalled in September. Then president-Donald Trump took the U.S. out of the nuclear deal in 2018.
The United Nations nuclear chief has voiced concern over a recent announcement by Iran that it was boosting its enrichment capacity.
“If Iran gets an operational nuclear weapon, all bets are off,” the Saudi foreign minister said when asked about such a scenario.
“We are in a very dangerous space in the region…you can expect that regional states will certainly look towards how they can ensure their own security.”
The Iran nuclear talks stalled a few months ago. Western powers accused Iran of making unreasonable demands, and the focus shifted to the Russia-Ukraine war as well as domestic unrest in Iran over the death in custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini.
Riyadh remained skeptical about the Iran nuclear deal, Prince Faisal said it supported efforts to revive the pact “on condition that it be a starting point, not an end point” for a stronger deal with Tehran.
Gulf Arab nations have pressed for a stronger agreement in the nuclear deal that would address their concerns about Iran’s missiles and drone programs, as well as their network of regional proxies.
Iran claims that its nuclear technology is only for civil purposes.
The Saudi Foreign Minister said that while Iran claims it has no interest in a nuclear weapons program, more assurance is required to believe it.