The Saudis are ready to go nuclear

Discussion in 'West Asia & Africa' started by Singh, May 20, 2015.

  1. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    SAUDI ARABIA has taken the “strategic decision” to acquire “off-the-shelf” atomic weapons from Pakistan, risking a new arms race in the Middle East, according to senior American officials.

    The move by the Gulf kingdom, which has financed much of Islamabad’s nuclear programme over the past three decades, comes amid growing anger among Sunni Arab states over a deal backed by President Barack Obama, which they fear could allow their arch foe, Shi’ite Iran, to develop a nuclear bomb.

    http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/news/world_news/Middle_East/article1557090.ece - needs subscription to read further

    @Yusuf @Ray @sayareakd @sob @pmaitra @Sridhar @Virendra @Neil @SajeevJino
     
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  3. Sakal Gharelu Ustad

    Sakal Gharelu Ustad Detests Jholawalas Moderator

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    Pakistan would always sell it to any bidder. Was there a doubt about it?

    Pakistan has even traded the nuclear secrets with North Korea. So, why such a surprise.
     
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  4. Sylex21

    Sylex21 Regular Member

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    I tried to research this a little more and couldn't find much outside of "the sunday times" article linked. Everywhere else it is listed simply as a "may", but nearly anything "may" happen. However if this were to actually happen, I think the world would get really interesting.

    1. First would Pakistan actually be willing to sell Saudi Arabia Nuclear Weapons? I'm not so sure, at a minimum both nations can expect massive global sanctions from nearly everyone.

    2. India would gain much closer ties to Iran out of this, and the general global condemnation of Pakistan by most of the world.

    -Still overall it seems very unlikely. The news paper linked, seems to be a serious newspaper from researching it a little, but it seems odd the story's main point isn't stated as a fact or absolute anywhere else.
     
  5. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    There is speculation that KSA might already have nukes in hand. Another speculation is that KSA has already purchased some nukes but they are physically within Pakistan ready to be shipped to KSA.
     
  6. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    They already have the bomb in all likelihood to be on the tip of Chinese supplied DF-21 that Saudi showed off in the presence of Pak COAS some time back.

    This news is getting played up because of Iran deal & Saudis are doing every bit to make sure the deal falls. But fact is, Saudis were always interested in the bomb as Israel has it but they have remained quiet about it as they are allied with the US.
     
  7. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    This was in the news for last three days and I was wondering why DFI is not discussing this :
    http://idrw.org/saudis-procuring-nukes-from-pak-us-officials/#more-64038

    Saudis procuring nukes from Pak: US officials
    Published May 19, 2015 | By admin
    SOURCE: TNN


    Saudi Arabia is long suspected to have bankrolled Pakistan’s nuclear program under an arrangement that it would have access to atomic bombs if its existence is threatened. Unnamed US officials have now breathed life into this story by affirming that Riyadh may be moving ahead with procuring bombs from Islamabad, purportedly because the Saudi royalty that rules Sunni-majority Arabia is angry with the Obama administration’s impending nuclear deal with its Shia rival Iran.

    “Hundreds of people at (CIA headquarters) Langley” were working to establish whether Islamabad had already supplied the Gulf nation with nuclear technology or weaponry, a U.S intelligence officials told the Sunday Times for a weekend story, adding that “We know this stuff is available to them off the shelf,” and that it “has to be the assumption” that the Saudis have decided to become a nuclear power.

    Saudi officials have already indicated that U.S overture to Iran, a mutual long-term rival, is pushing them further down the nuclear weapons path. Former Saudi intelligence chief Prince Turki bin Faisal told a recent conference in South Korea that “whatever the Iranians have, we will have, too,” and other remarks by the Saudis and their protectorate states have indicated they are agitated by the Obama overtures towards Iran, a regional and sectarian rival.

    “For the Saudis the moment has come,” a former US defence official told the paper, adding that “There has been a long-standing agreement in place with the Pakistanis and the House of Saud has now made the strategic decision to move forward.”

    Pakistan typically denies any such transaction, but given its history of lying about everything from nuclear proliferation to terrorism, it has no credibility in the international community including in the “Muslim ummah.” Saudi Arabia practically owns Pakistan, many of whose leading political lights seek refuge with their Saudi patrons when the going gets tough at home.

    When they are not ordering around their Pakistani vassals, the Saudis arbitrate political disputes in Islamabad, keeping it solvent and alive with free supply of oil and liquidity. The Pakistani military, whose air force has trained Saudi pilots and operates Saudi jets, is beholden to the House of Saud for resolving political tensions and functions as a rentier army for Saudis and its Gulf allies. The Pakistani military, which manages the country’s nuclear arsenal, allows Saudis to access to it but not its own prime ministers, presidents and other civilians leaders.

    All this has happened under the benevolent gaze of Washington, which has long been a patron of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, both artificially created Sunni majority states that are fearful of and have a complex about Shia-majority Iran rooted in the Persian civilization. Despite Pakistan’s efforts to maintain a semblance of balance given its large Shia population, Saudi radicalization and oil money had made it a Sunni satellite state with large scale killing of Shias and other minorities in recent months.

    The nuclear tie-up with Saudis therefore comes as no surprise to anyone. “Given their close relations and close military links, it’s long been assumed that if the Saudis wanted, they would call in a commitment, moral or otherwise, for Pakistan to supply them immediately with nuclear warheads,”” former Foreign Secretary Lord David Owen told the Sunday Times, and a senior British military officer was quoted telling the paper that Western military leaders “all assume the Saudis have made the decision to go nuclear.”
     
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  8. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    [​IMG]

    Photographs of the nuclear command and control centre and other facilities
     
  9. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    "Agni Missile Range comparison" by Michael. SVG conversion by Srikar Kashyap - another Wikimedia image. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons -

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Compersion

    Compersion Senior Member Senior Member

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    but why would the Pakis give Saudi more influence and better leverage ... (with the premise the Pakis really have proper nukes)

    the Pakis were able to confidently say bugger off to the Saudis when they asked for troops. some Pakis even questioned who are Saudis to talk to them like they did. why would Pakis want to give up such a leverage and power over the Sunni people and region and also their look west policy (!!).

    If Saudi wants nukes it would be better if they would look at PRC and North Korea. See how the North Koreans tested 3 times over a long time and even withdrew from NPT on 10 January 2003.

    That made North Korea the first state ever to withdraw from the treaty.

    Forget Gwadar port the PRC can negotiate bigger piece of land(s). The PRC can even help in Yemen. The PRC can incorporate this into its Africa and Islam outreach. There are over 6 GCC countries.

    The Pakis are having no such ingenious thinking.

    If North Korea is not fixed that would be laughable and make it customary for others to follow suit and maintain a post-facto status quo. The Saudis naturally will ask why only North Korea.

    If North Korea is not fixed quickly after Iran it would give time for such formulations to be alive.

    India also ought to tell the world that if North Korea even thinks of testing once more India will follow suit. North Korea has test over a span of years and not without hiding and single instance. Some even say it is PRC testing through its agent which is even more ridiculous for the system and rules India is wanting to follow and join.
     
  11. Alien

    Alien Regular Member

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  12. SajeevJino

    SajeevJino Long walk Elite Member

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    Singh likes this.
  13. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    I always wondered why Pakistan never gets pressured for their nuclear threats or their proliferation etc.... They probably have full support of Saudis/USA?
     
  14. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    Saudi Arabian purchase of DF-21

    In January 2014, Newsweek revealed that Saudi Arabia had secretly bought a number of DF-21 medium-range ballistic missiles in 2007. They also said that the American CIA had allowed the deal to go through as long as the missiles were modified to not be able to carry nuclear warheads. Saudi Arabia had previously secretly acquired Chinese DF-3A ballistic missiles in 1988, which was later exposed by the United States. While the DF-3 has a longer range, it was designed to carry a nuclear payload, and so had poor accuracy (300 meters CEP) if used with a conventional warhead. It would only be useful against large area targets like cities and military bases. This made them useless during the Gulf War for retaliating against Iraqi Scud missile attacks, as they would cause mass civilian casualties and would not be as effective as the ongoing coalition air attacks. After the war, the Saudis and the CIA worked together to covertly allow the purchase of Chinese DF-21s. The DF-21 is solid-fueled instead of liquid-fueled like the DF-3, so it takes less time to prepare for launch. It is accurate to 30 meters CEP, allowing it to attack specific targets like compounds or palaces. The Saudis are not known to possess mobile launchers, but may use the some 12 launchers originally bought with the DF-3s. The number of DF-21 missiles that were bought is unknown. Newsweek speculates that details of the deal being made public is part of Saudi deterrence against Iran.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DF-21
     
  15. anupamsurey

    anupamsurey Regular Member

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    if it is true i m eager to see, the next moves by sayaret's and Iran.
     
  16. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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  17. Srinivas_K

    Srinivas_K Senior Member Senior Member

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    Saudis even helped Pakistan with oil and aid when sanctions are imposed on Pakistan after 1998 nuke tests.
    Seems there is a deal between the two countries.
     
  18. salute

    salute Senior Member Senior Member

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    maybe you already know this documentary,
    story how aq khan did his business and usa did nothing in time to stop him.

     
  19. anupamsurey

    anupamsurey Regular Member

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    Pakistan is seen as a net security guarantor for entire islamic world, if there is a warin middle east, pakistans assistance will be invoked, but i doubt that a nation will give its nuclear arsenal to another, giving technology is another thing (like what happened with North korea and pakistan or china and pakistan), but giving a nuclear warhead is another level, where is non proliferation crap of USA and west now, bloody hypocrites,
     
  20. sherkhan

    sherkhan Regular Member

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    [​IMG]
    A Pakistan-made Ghauri missile. Saudi Arabia is believed to have a nuclear deal with Pakistan Photo: AP

    Since its creation 85 years ago, Saudi Arabia has acquired a reputation as a country that tries to avoid confrontation with its neighbours at all costs. During the long war between Iran and Iraq during the 1980s the Saudis desperately sought to preserve their neutrality, even if Riyadh’s sympathies lay with its fellow Sunni co-religionists in Iraq rather than the Shi’ite Muslim hardliners running Iran.

    Similarly, Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the two Gulf wars against Saddam Hussein was kept to a minimum. Saudi warplanes made a modest contribution to the overall air campaign during the 1991 liberation of Kuwait, while Riyadh steadfastly refused to involve itself in the 2003 Iraq war. In other conflicts affecting the region, such as the Palestinian intifada, the Saudis have preferred to channel their immense oil wealth in support of Arab allies rather than become directly involved in the strife.

    But then this year came Saudi Arabia’s dramatic military intervention in neighbouring Yemen. Saudi warplanes and troops are now involved in a bitter conflict with Iranian-backed rebels from the Houthi religious movement in Yemen. And Saudi Arabia has been confirmed as one of the region’s dominant military powers.

    In the past two years, it has beaten Britain into fourth place in the world’s military spending league with a defence budget of around £37 billion (compared with the UK at around £34 billion). The military offensive in Yemen has seen Saudi Arabia deploy an estimated 150,000 troops – nearly twice the size of the British Army – while Saudi fighter jets, many of them British-made, have flown thousands of sorties.

    Now the Saudis have raised the alarming prospect of the Middle East becoming embroiled in a nuclear arms race after the country’s blunt warning that “all options are on the table” if Iran fails to resolve the international stand-off over its nuclear programme.

    Prince Mohammed bin Nawwaf bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, Saudi Arabia’s long-serving ambassador to London, says that for many years the kingdom upheld the policy established by the late King Fahd that Riyadh would not pursue a policy of developing nuclear weapons. “Then it became known that Iran was pursuing a policy that could be shifted to a weapons-of-mass-destruction programme,” Prince Mohammed explained in an exclusive interview with The Daily Telegraph. “This has changed the whole outlook in the region.”

    [​IMG]The Saudi ambassador to the United Kingdom (Photo: GETTY)

    Like many in the Arab world and beyond, the Saudis are hoping the current negotiations with Iran on the nuclear issue, being led by US President Barack Obama, will provide assurances that Tehran does not possess the means to build an atom bomb.

    “We have always expressed our support for resolving the Iranian nuclear file in a diplomatic way and through negotiation,” said Prince Mohammed. “We commend the American president’s effort in this regard, provided that any deal reached is watertight and is not the kind of deal that offers Iran a licence to continue its destabilising foreign policies in the region. The proof is in the pudding.”

    Negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 – the US, the UK, France, China and Russia (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council) and Germany – are due to be concluded by the end of this month. Negotiators are pressing Tehran to freeze key elements of its uranium-enrichment cycle – which can be used to produce nuclear warheads – in return for easing the sanctions that have crippled the Iranian economy.

    [​IMG]
    Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef with Barack Obama (Photo: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

    Despite attempts lasting more than a decade to resolve the issue, Iran has yet to make any significant concessions on its nuclear programme. The New York Times reported last week that Tehran’s stockpile of nuclear fuel had increased by 20 per cent in the past 18 months. That would make a nonsense of the Obama administration’s contention that Iran had frozen its enrichment operations for the duration of the negotiations. Consequently, there are fears in Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf states that Mr Obama is more interested in reaching an accommodation with reformists in Iran than in standing by America’s traditional allies in the Arab world.

    Prince Mohammed, who is a senior member of the Saudi ruling family, insists the negotiations must produce serious commitments from Iran not to produce nuclear weapons. “We hope we receive the assurances that guarantee Iran will not pursue this kind of weapon,” he said. “But if this does not happen, then all options will be on the table for Saudi Arabia.

    “Iran’s nuclear programme poses a direct threat to the entire region and constitutes a major source and incentive for nuclear proliferation across the Middle East, including Israel.”

    [​IMG]Saudi security forces on parade (Photo: Getty Images)

    Western intelligence agencies believe that the Saudi monarchy paid for up to 60 per cent of Pakistan’s nuclear programme, in return for the ability to buy warheads for itself at short notice. Any failure by Iran to provide the necessary safeguards by the end of this month could see Riyadh activate that deal, thereby enabling Saudi Arabia to become the Arab world’s first nuclear power. And if that were to happen, then many other regional powers, such as Egypt and Turkey, would also attempt to follow suit – a nuclear arms race in the world’s most unstable region.

    Prince Mohammed’s comments should serve as a warning to Mr Obama as he briefs other G7 leaders on the Iran talks at this week’s summit in Germany.

    From Saudi Arabia’s perspective, though, Prince Mohammed believes Riyadh has every right to be alarmed at the prospect of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons, particularly in the light of its involvement in supporting the Houthis to overthrow Yemen’s government. “The Houthi rebels, backed by Iran, set about taking over Sanaa and then attempting to takeover Aden,” he said. “The reason air strikes became necessary was to reverse that advance and keep the road open for a political solution.

    “All the evidence supports the fact that Iran is using the Houthis as warring agents for them to transform Yemen into a springboard for the delusional hegemonic designs in the Arab world.”

    [​IMG]Yemeni separatists fight Houthi rebels (Photo: Saleh Al-Obeidi/AFP/Getty Images)

    He played down suggestions that, equipped with its new military might, his country had its own plans for regional domination. “Saudi Arabia does not have the same ambitions for the region as others do,” he said in a reference to Iran. “All we care for is the preservation of our stability and security, and that of the Arab and Muslim worlds.”

    The ambassador also expressed his concern about suggestions that Britain was playing a less prominent role in world affairs. Last week Ashton Carter, the US defence secretary, warned against what he called Britain’s “disengagement” from world affairs in the wake of the recent defence cuts.

    Prince Mohammed warned that this could have negative repercussions, particularly in the Middle East. “The perception that Britain is withdrawing from the international stage could have a negative impact,” he said. “Britain has played a historical role in the region due to its colonial past. It knows the Arab world very well and it can still have a pivotal positive role. To see a country like Britain no longer playing a central role in the region will have ramifications that are not positive.”
     
  21. warrior monk

    warrior monk Regular Member

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    Saudi know jackshit about nuclear but Pakistan has probably already transported few nuclear warheads to Saudis
     

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