In a "60 Minutes" interview set to air on Sunday, the de facto leader of Saudi Arabia, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, said his country would quickly obtain a nuclear bomb - if arch rival Iran successfully develops its own nuclear weapon.
The Saudi crown prince, currently on a whirlwind global PR tour to relieve his western allies of the bitter aftertaste that resulted from last year's unprecedented extortion crackdown on Saudi Royals, which left many of them imprisoned in the Riyadh Ritz Carlton for months until they "agreed" to hand over their loot to the cash-depleted government, said that "Saudi Arabia doesn’t want to own a nuclear bomb. But without a doubt, if Iran develops a nuclear bomb, we will follow suit as soon as possible.”
This is not surprising: last month we reported that Saudi Arabia is moving swiftly to become the next country in the Middle East with nuclear power. The Kingdom is on the verge of striking a deal with the US for the purchase of nuclear reactors despite concerns over its refusal to accept stringent restrictions against the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Although the Saudis have insisted that their programme will be peaceful, they have also refused to rule out the right to enrich uranium to weapons grade. A senior Saudi official was quoted by the Wall Street Journal admitting as much: “I’m not saying Saudi would want to enrich uranium tomorrow or anytime soon but they don’t want to be committed to anything that bans them from doing it. It is quite political,” the unnamed senior official said.
His comments have stirred speculation that one of the purpose of the nuclear program is to compete with Iran and maintain an option to develop nuclear weapons.
Today's MbS comments confirm that the nuclear arms race between Iran and Saudi Arabia is officially on, even as much of the Middle East is rapidly breathing down their neck.
Meanwhile, the spin from the western media is not that Saudi Arabia remains a rather barbaric country that encourages torture and beheadings, as well as mass arrests of "non-compliantes" is that bin Salman has "ushered in significant changes for women in the conservative Sunni Muslim kingdom, including granting them the right to drive for the first time." Because women driving offsets everything.
And, to top it off, the 32 year old once again confirmed that Godwin's law is alive and well, saying that Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei “wants to expand,” and that "He wants to create his own project in the Middle East, very much like Hitler... Many countries around the world and in Europe did not realize how dangerous Hitler was until what happened, happened. I don't want to see the same events happening in the Middle East."
The interview will be the first with a Saudi leader for a U.S. television network since 2005.
Below is a preview of O'Donnell's conversation with the crown prince in which Mohammed explains why, in his view, Iran's supreme leader is nothing less than the second coming of Adolf Hitler.