In a preview of an interview that will air in its entirety on “60 Minutes” this coming Sunday, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told correspondent Norah O’Donnell that if Iran were to develop a nuclear weapon, Saudi Arabia would “follow suit as soon as possible.” The preview was broadcast Thursday on CBS This Morning.
The crown prince also compared Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to Adolf Hitler, explaining, “he wants to create his own project in the Middle East very much like Hitler who wanted to expand at the time.” He said that by the time Europe realized how dangerous Hitler was, it was too late. He then added, “I don’t want to see the same events happening in the Middle East.”
O’Donnell then asked Mohammed Bin Salman if Saudi Arabia needed nuclear weapons to deter Iran. He answered, “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 crown prince’s response is consistent with statements made by other Saudi officials in recent years.
In December 2013, a month after the talks over Iran’s nuclear weapons program began in earnest, Time magazine reported that Saudi Arabia was considering acquiring nuclear weapons because it expected that the deal that would emerge would allow Iran to develop its own nuclear weapons.
In May 2015, two months before the nuclear deal was agreed to, Prince Turki bin Faisal, the former Saudi intelligence chief, warned that the deal, which would allow Iran to keep its nuclear infrastructure in place, would lead to further nuclear proliferation. American’s Sunni allies were reportedly arguing that they should be allowed to develop the same nuclear capacity that Iran would be allowed by the deal.
[Photo: CBS This Morning / YouTube]