Prospect of Iran nukes frightens Saudi royals 'to their core'
WASHINGTON — A U.S. report projects a concerted effort by Saudi Arabia to match Iran's nuclear
The report, submitted to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, took note of a U.S.
assessment that Teheran's nuclear program frightens the Saudi royal family
"to their core."
"The future Middle East landscape may include a number of nuclear armed
or nuclear weapons-capable states vying for influence in a notoriously
unstable region," the report, released in early April 2008, said.
The report, ordered by ranking Republican Sen. Richard Lugar, was
authored by staff member Bradley Bowman, Middle East Newsline reported. The assessment on Saudi nuclear
plans was based on discussions with senior U.S. diplomats in Riyad.
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Saudi Arabia would be followed by other Middle East states bent on
producing or acquiring nuclear weapons, the report said. The report, based
on interviewing hundreds of analysts, diplomats in Washington and the Middle
East in the last half of 2007, cited Turkey.
In contrast, Egypt would not develop a nuclear weapons program, the
report said. Bowman said such a program would encounter strong opposition
from Israel and the United States.
The report warned Congress that U.S. credibility in the region was being
eroded amid Iran's nuclear program. Bowman said the United States must take
steps to restore its credibility with Turkey and Arab allies by 2010.