Saudi Arabia to focus on solar, wind in $US50bn clean energy plan REneweconomy By Ilias Tsagas on 18 January 2017 PV Magazine Speaking yesterday at an Abu Dhabi’s Sustainability Week (ADSW) event, Saudi Arabia’s energy, industry and mineral resources minister Khalid Al-Falih announced a new grand energy plan for the country. The new program is set to commence in a few weeks’ time, when Saudi Arabia’s government will launch the first round of bidding for a new renewable energy tender, energy minister Al-Falih announced at the World Future Energy Summit 2017 (WFES) in Abu Dhabi.
The energy minister did not, however, provide any details regarding the capacity that will be auctioned in the tender.
He did inform the attendants that Saudi Arabia’s new master program for the energy sector will require between USD 30 to 50 billion investment, which will need to come via the private sector.
Solar and wind power will be the preferred technologies in the auctions, but geothermal and waste projects will also be considered, just with a smaller role to play.
Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s biggest oil producer, is aiming for renewable energy installations, primarily of solar and wind, of 9.5 GW by 2023, but this is just the starting point, the country’s energy minister told the ADSW.
By 2030, the country will generate 70 percent of its electricity from natural gas and 30 percent from renewables and other sources, promised Al-Falih.
“Other resources” include nuclear power plants, of which plans for two nuclear reactors totaling 2.8 GW are currently in the early stages of consideration and planning…….. http://reneweconomy.com.au/saudi-arabia-to-focus-on-solar-wind-in-us50bn-clean-energy-plan-35690/
Saudis Buy 16 Nuclear Plants From The Russians, Terrorists Rejoice : http://dailycaller.com/2016/09/06/saudis-buy-16-nuclear-plants-from-the-russians-terrorists-rejoice/#ixzz4JViTS5aX ANDREW FOLLETT Energy and Environmental Reporter Saudi Arabia will buy 16 nuclear power plants from Russia for $100 billion despite terrorism concerns, according to a Monday announcement from a government-controlled nuclear power company.
Saudi Arabia has a long history of terrorist attacks within its borders, and the country itself has been accused of directly funding Islamic terrorism. The planned reactors would be incredibly vulnerable to terrorist attacks.
Saudi Arabia’s new reactors would not produce the weapons-grade plutonium necessary to make a nuclear weapon, but materials from them could be used to create dirty bombs. A dirty bomb combines radioactive material with conventional explosives that could contaminate the local area with high radiation levels for long periods of time and cause mass panic, though it would be millions of times weaker than an actual nuclear device. The Islamic State wants to steal this kind of radioactive material for a dirty bomb.
“There are prospects for cooperation in the field of nuclear energy,” Yury Ushakov, aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin, told journalists. “Our company, which has the most advanced technologies, is ready to join the project on construction of 16 nuclear power reactors in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The project is provided until 2030, its cost is $100 billion,”
Russia and Saudi Arabia signed an agreement last year to work together on “peaceful” nuclear energy projects. The stated purpose of these reactors is to generate electricity, power desalination plants and reduce domestic oil consumption so Saudi Arabia can sell the oil abroad. The reactors will be built by the Russian government controlled Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Cooperation.
China nuclear developer, Saudi’s Falih meet on nuclear cooperation By Reuters | Aug 30, 2016,BEIJING: China’s leading state nuclear project developer China National Nuclear Corp (CNNC) said it met on Monday with Saudi energy minister Khalid Al-Falih to discuss cooperation in the nuclear power sector.
CNNC chairman Sun Qin told Al-Falih that China is ready to cooperate fully with Saudi Arabia over nuclear power, according to a short statement posted on the CNNC website late on Monday.
The statement said the Saudi energy ministry welcomed CNNC in expanding its business in the kingdom, including research and development of nuclear technology, uranium mining and the building of nuclear power stations, but gave no further details. The two countries signed a memorandum of understanding on training nuclear personnel, the statement said. http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/53924844.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst
The Saudi Cables. Cables and other documents from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Ministry of Foreign Affairs https://wikileaks.org/saudi-cables/buying-silence
A total of 122619 published so far
Buying Silence: How the Saudi Foreign Ministry controls Arab media
On Monday, Saudi Arabia celebrated the beheading of its 100th prisoner this year. The story was nowhere to be seen on Arab media despite the story’s circulation on wire services. Even international media was relatively mute about this milestone compared to what it might have been if it had concerned a different country. How does a story like this go unnoticed?
Today’s release of the WikiLeaks “Saudi Cables” from the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs show how it’s done.
The oil-rich Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its ruling family take a systematic approach to maintaining the country’s positive image on the international stage. Most world governments engage in PR campaigns to fend off criticism and build relations in influential places. Saudi Arabia controls its image by monitoring media and buying loyalties from Australia to Canada and everywhere in between.
Documents reveal the extensive efforts to monitor and co-opt Arab media, making sure to correct any deviations in regional coverage of Saudi Arabia and Saudi-related matters. Saudi Arabia’s strategy for co-opting Arab media takes two forms, corresponding to the “carrot and stick” approach, referred to in the documents as “neutralisation” and “containment”. The approach is customised depending on the market and the media in question.
“Contain” and “Neutralise”
The initial reaction to any negative coverage in the regional media is to “neutralise” it. The term is used frequently in the cables and it pertains to individual journalists and media institutions whose silence and co-operation has been bought. “Neutralised” journalists and media institutions are not expected to praise and defend the Kingdom, only to refrain from publishing news that reflects negatively on the Kingdom, or any criticism of its policies. The “containment” approach is used when a more active propaganda effort is required. Journalists and media institutions relied upon for “containment” are expected not only to sing the Kingdom’s praises, but to lead attacks on any party that dares to air criticisms of the powerful Gulf state.
One of the ways “neutralisation” and “containment” are ensured is by purchasing hundreds or thousands of subscriptions in targeted publications. These publications are then expected to return the favour by becoming an “asset” in the Kingdom’s propaganda strategy. A document listing the subscriptions that needed renewal by 1 January 2010 details a series of contributory sums meant for two dozen publications in Damascus, Abu Dhabi, Beirut, Kuwait, Amman and Nouakchott. The sums range from $500 to 9,750 Kuwaiti Dinars ($33,000). The Kingdom effectively buys reverse “shares” in the media outlets, where the cash “dividends” flow the opposite way, from the shareholder to the media outlet. In return Saudi Arabia gets political “dividends” – an obliging press.
An example of these co-optive practices in action can be seen in an exchange between the Saudi Foreign Ministry and its Embassy in Cairo. On 24 November 2011 Egypt’s Arabic-language broadcast station ONTV hosted the Saudi opposition figure Saad al-Faqih, which prompted the Foreign Ministry to task the embassy with inquiring into the channel. The Ministry asked the embassy to find out how “to co-opt it or else we must consider it standing in the line opposed to the Kingdom’s policies“.
The document reports that the billionaire owner of the station, Naguib Sawiris, did not want to be “opposed to the Kingdom’s policies” and that he scolded the channel director, asking him “never to host al-Faqih again”. He also asked the Ambassador if he’d like to be “a guest on the show”.
The Saudi Cables are rife with similar examples, some detailing the figures and the methods of payment. These range from small but vital sums of around $2000/year to developing country media outlets – a figure the Guinean News Agency “urgently needs” as “it would solve many problems that the agency is facing” – to millions of dollars, as in the case of Lebanese right-wing television station MTV.
The “neutralisation” and “containment” approaches are not the only techniques the Saudi Ministry is willing to employ. In cases where “containment” fails to produce the desired effect, the Kingdom moves on to confrontation. In one example, the Foreign Minister was following a Royal Decree dated 20 January 2010 to remove Iran’s new Arabic-language news network, Al-Alam, from the main Riyadh-based regional communications satellite operator, Arabsat. After the plan failed, Saud Al Faisal sought to “weaken its broadcast signal“.
The documents show concerns within the Saudi administration over the social upheavals of 2011, which became known in the international media as the “Arab Spring”. The cables note with concern that after the fall of Mubarak, coverage of the upheavals in Egyptian media was “being driven by public opinion instead of driving public opinion”. The Ministry resolved “to give financial support to influential media institutions in Tunisia“, the birthplace of the “Arab Spring”.
The cables reveal that the government employs a different approach for its own domestic media. There, a wave of the Royal hand is all that is required to adjust the output of state-controlled media. A complaint from former Lebanese Prime Minister and Saudi citizen Saad Hariri concerning articles critical of him in the Saudi-owned Al-Hayat and Asharq Al-Awsat newspapers prompted a directive to “stop these type of articles” from the Foreign Ministry.
This is a general overview of the Saudi Foreign Ministry’s strategy in dealing with the media. WikiLeaks’ Saudi Cables contain numerous other examples that form an indictment of both the Kingdom and the state of the media globally.
Officials from the kingdom, which is party to the nuclear nonproliferation treaty, have raised that possibility in the past. However, they have more strongly stressed the need for the Middle East to be a “weapons of mass destruction free zone,” as Turki did at the event. …….http://www.wmtw.com/politics/saudi-prince-getting-nuclear-weapons-possible/39420576
Is the fear of bankruptcy forcing oil-rich Saudi turn to solar power? Wait for 25 April http://www.firstpost.com/business/is-fear-of-bankruptcy-forcing-oil-rich-saudi-turn-to-solar-power-wait-for-25-april-2744388.html R N Bhaskar Apr 22, 2016 In March 2016, Saudi Arabia stunned the world with an unusual announcement. Its oil minister Ali al-Naimi stated the following at a Berlin conference: “I don’t think there is a more ideal country for renewables than Saudi Arabia, given its abundant sunshine, available land and plentiful sand, which is needed for making solar panels”. Of course, this won’t happen overnight, he added by way of clarification. He expects consumers to continue using fossil fuel for the next 50 years. But his statement that Saudi Arabia would make a foray into solar power was the last thing investors had on their minds.
In fact, should Saudi Arabia put its money behind solar power, expect the pace of growth for solar to climb frenetically. Solar power is already expected to grow by 28% during 2016.
Already, last year was a scorcher. 2015 ended with around 59 GW (giga Watt or 1,000 MW) of solar installed capacity. This made it another record year in terms of solar PV installation, It represented a 700% increase from the 2008 annual demand. Clearly, the solar PV industry has grown exponentially and is worth more than $100 billion now.
2016 promises to be another double digit growth year . Various analysts put the growth of solar power in 2016 anywhere between 10-17%, to about 69 GW. Almost 93% of the demand will come from just three countries: India, China and the US. Saudi Arabia’s investments could cause this number to flare up further.
But why is Saudi Arabia moving away from oil? To understand its decision to begin looking to solar energy, it might be helpful to listen carefully to the utterances of Prince Mohammed bin Salman, grandson of the founder king of Saudi Arabia.
Just a few days ago, in an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek he pointed to the urgent need for his country to restructure its finances. He was of the belief that his country should change fundamentally. The alternative would be catastrophic.
It was only last year that the country’s managers discovered that thanks to rapidly falling oil prices, Saudi Arabia had witnessed a continuous (and precipitous) fall in its forex reserves. Analysts believed that bankruptcy would be just a couple of years away. The oil price crash had resulted in a budget shortfall of almost $200 billion. Historically, the country depended on oil for 90% of its budget requirements. Now that was fast evaporating.
That could also explain why all eyes are now set on 25 April (three days away) when Prince Mohammed is slated to present his “Vision for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.” That is when he is likely to unfold a plan incorporating widespread economic and social changes. According to BusinessWeek, it includes
1) the creation of the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, which will eventually hold more than $2 trillion in assets—enough to buy all of Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Berkshire Hathaway, the world’s four largest public companies.
2) an IPO that could sell off “less than 5 percent” of Saudi Aramco, the national oil producer, which will be turned into the world’s biggest industrial conglomerate (watch out, Mukesh Ambani!).
3) diversification into non-petroleum assets, hedging the kingdom’s nearly total dependence on oil for revenue.
According to BusinessWeek, these moves “will technically make investments the source of Saudi government revenue, not oil . . .[so that] within 20 years, we will be an economy or state that doesn’t depend mainly on oil.”
Expect solar power to be a major driver. And wait for April 25!
This is a two part series article on the solar fortunes. Read the second part tommorrow.
Earlier this week a Saudi political analyst told RT’s Arab network the kingdom has a nuclear weapon. Dahham Al-‘Anzi made the claim while saying Saudi Arabia is engaged in an effort to “minimize the Iranian threat in the Levant and Syria.”
Although Saudi Arabia has officially denied it has a nuclear weapons program and has publicly stated it opposes nuclear weapons in the Middle East, it has funded a military nuclear program and received scientific assistance from the United States and Pakistan.
Despite this cooperation, US Secretary of State John Kerry told the Saudis in January there would be “all kinds of NPT consequences” if Riyadh received a nuclear weapon from Pakistan.
The Saudis began financing Pakistan’s atomic weapons project in 1974. “Our achievements are yours,” the Pakistani president, General Zia-ul-Haq, told the Saudis in the 1980s.
In the late 1980s the Saudis secretly bought dozens of CSS-2 ballistic missiles from China. The CSS-2, also known as the Dong Feng, is based on the Russian 9K720 Iskander missile. The intercontinental ballistic missile is designed to carry a 3 megaton nuclear warhead to a distance up to 12,000 kilometers.
I do think that the Saudis believe that they have some understanding with Pakistan that, in extremis, they would have claim to acquire nuclear weapons from Pakistan,” said Gary Samore, Obama’s former counter-proliferation adviser.
In 2013 a senior NATO spokesman told the BBC nuclear weapons made in Pakistan on behalf of Saudi Arabia are ready to be delivered. In 2009 King Abdullah warned visiting US special envoy to the Middle East Dennis Ross Saudi Arabia “will get nuclear weapons” if Iran pursued a nuclear weapons program.
Following the P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran, the Saudis reasserted their desire to obtain a nuclear weapon.
“I think Saudi Arabia would seriously try to get the bomb if Iran did. It’s just like India and Pakistan. The Pakistanis said for years they didn’t want one, but when India got it, so did they,”said Jamal Khashoggi, the head of a Saudi news channel owned by the Saudi royal family.
King Salman of Saudi Arabia set to back Iran nuclear deal — at a price, Washington Times, By Guy Taylor – , September 3, 2015
President Obama is set to receive an official, albeit reluctant nod of approval for the Iran nuclear deal when Saudi Arabia’s new king visits theWhite House for the first time Friday, but analysts say it will come at a price as Riyadh seeks Washington’s support for its increasingly anti-Iranforeign policy in the Middle East……..
Saudi Arabia, backed by its vast oil wealth and reserve, has pursued an increasingly activist foreign policy that now features support for insurgent forces in Syria, as well as a proxy war against Iran-backed rebels in Yemen.
But analysts say that despite some key differences, the U.S.-Saudi connection remains solid.
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir hasalready expressed the kingdom’s willingness to accept the Iran nuclear deal, despite its misgivings on Tehran and a larger frustration with what it sees as a passive U.S. approach to the region under Mr. Obama.
“Both nations are close strategic partners in spite of their differences, and both states need each other,” said Anthony Cordesman, a longtime Middle East expert at the Center for Strategic International Studies in Washington.
King Salman’s visit will likely end in “some kind of public statement that puts as positive a spin as possible on the meeting,” Mr. Cordesman told Agence France-Presse. Ahead of Friday’s meeting, Jamal Khashoggi, head of al-Arab News Channel, owned by Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, told Reuters that the U.S.-Saudi “relationship is entering a new phase.”……….
Mr. Obama’s hand in the talks was considerably strengthened this week as the White House obtained the bare minimum Senate votes needed to sustain his veto of any congressional rejection of the Iran deal.
The veto threat itself may prove unnecessary as the number of Democrats supporting the deal now numbers 37 following Thursday’s announcements by the three Democratic lawmakers. With four more votes, Democrats could filibuster the rejection motion in the Senate and avoid a veto fight altogether. Several of the seven undecided SenateDemocrats are reportedly leaning toward supporting Mr. Obama. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/sep/3/king-salman-of-saudi-arabia-set-to-back-iran-nucle/?page=2
A. Its not a conventional 2k lb bomb. It’s much bigger.
B. Its either a very large MOAB bigger than 4,000 lbs. or; ???? Max weight for an F-15 / 16 is about 2,000 lb payload per bomb rack making the deployment of a MOAB impossible.
C. Its appears to be a small neutron bomb. The size, color, lightning effect and duration of the fire ball being suspended in mid air and the very large mushroom cloud is the main give away. The CCD cameras imaging device was “scintillating” (detecting Neutrons) That is the white pixel flashes in the video. When the photo has white pixel flashes in it, that is because it is being hit by neutrons from the nuclear fireball blast. It overloads the ccd’s electronic circuit producing white flashes.
If the radiation is too high it will burn out the chip. They had big problems with this in Japan with the Fukushima robots cameras failing due to very high radiation counts.
D. Delivery is most likely by an IDF F-16 with a Saudi paint job on the plane. They are not even hiding their use anymore, they just don’t publicly admit it and the IAEA does nothing or says nothing. That is the true war crime. The UN just ignores it unless the US, France or GB complains…….. Russia and China say nothing.
E. This is now the second known use of nukes in Yemen by Saudi Arabia…………..
A. The range of the camera is calculated to be about 4 to 5 miles from ground zero based on shock wave timing.
B.Saudi has no F-16’s. The aircraft reported to be used to droop the bomb in Yemen were F-16’s. Photos and acoustic signature confirms that the jet engines noise is from a single engine jet fighter of the F-16 type.
Jeff Smith is a nuclear physicist and former IAEA inspector.
France plans new Saudi nuclear reactors, Sky News 25 June 2015 France has confirmed it is looking into building two nuclear reactors in Saudi Arabia, as part of 12 billion euro ($A17.31 billion) worth of deals struck between the nations.
Under one of the agreements Airbus will sell 23 H-145 multipurpose helicopters to Saudi Arabia for 500 million euros as well as launch a feasibility study into building the reactors, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Wednesday……..
The study for two European Pressurised Reactors (EPR) – which France considers the safest and most advanced in the world – takes on added significance given the current efforts by Saudi Arabia’s rival, Iran, to develop its own nuclear capabilities.
In addition to the study, France will sign an agreement to train the Saudis on nuclear safety and the treatment of nuclear waste……
France has been reinforcing links with the conservative kingdom despite persistent criticism of its human rights record,…… http://www.skynews.com.au/news/world/mideast/2015/06/25/france-plans-new-saudi-nuclear-reactors.html#sthash.tI5czLBA.dpuf
Saudi Arabia must not focus on nuclear power THERE IS LITTLE DOUBT THAT NUCLEAR POWER WILL NOT BE ABLE TO COMPETE ECONOMICALLY WITH SOLAR PHOTOVOLTAIC AND WIND ENERGY BY ALI AHMAD AND M. V. RAMANA, SPECIAL TO GULF NEWS JUNE 25, 2015
Although Saudi Arabia has officially expressed interest in acquiring nuclear power since 2006, it is clear that this effort has gained momentum in the last few months, since the progress of negotiations between P5+1 (United States, Britain, France, Russia, China plus Germany) and Iran over the latter’s nuclear programme. Though some may find it understandable on strategic grounds, it is important to realise that nuclear power fares poorly if compared economically with fast-growing renewable technologies, especially solar photovoltaic energy.
Currently fossil fuel, oil and natural gas-based electricity generation constitutes essentially all of Saudi Arabia’s power production capacity. But it is desirable to develop alternative sources of electricity and both nuclear power and renewables have been held out as possibilities……
Nuclear reactors not only take long periods to construct, but are also prone to major construction delays and huge cost overruns. This is true in many countries, including industrialised economies with substantial nuclear capacity such as the US and France. Even without delays, establishing a nuclear power programme from scratch can take a minimum of 10 years. The UAE, for instance, started its programme in 2008 and expects to connect its first reactor to the grid in 2018. In comparison, solar projects typically have a one to two-year construction period.
If Saudi Arabia, for example, decides to build a nuclear reactor today, it will likely take a minimum of 10 years for it to start generating electricity. Therefore, any cost comparison must be based on what solar power may cost in 2025 rather than today’s costs. This time period is significant and if the dramatic decline in the cost of solar photovoltaic panels over the past decade (more than 75 per cent since 2009) continues till the end of this decade, the cost of generating nuclear power will exceed that of photovoltaic energy. There are good reasons to expect solar power costs to decline further in a similar fashion, including the relative lack of maturity of underlying technologies.
Even without such declines, there is evidence that renewable energy is already more economical than nuclear power. ……
Saudi Arabia is a natural location for investing in solar energy. It has one of the highest Direct Normal Irradiation resources in the world.
Likewise, wind energy too has significant potential in Saudi Arabia. Moreover, there is much greater scope with renewable energy for Saudi Arabia to ensure a higher degree of localisation and create a base of highly skilled workforce. Such localisation is certainly more difficult, if not impossible, to achieve with nuclear power.
Therefore, there is little doubt that nuclear power will not be able to compete economically with solar photovoltaic and wind energy. ….http://gulfnews.com/opinion/thinkers/saudi-arabia-must-not-focus-on-nuclear-power-1.1540888
Saudis ready to go nuclear: ‘All options are on the table’ if talks fail to contain Iran, ambassador says, National Post Con Coughlin, The Telegraph | June 9, 2015 “…….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 pounds (compared with the UK at around 34 billion pounds)……
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…..
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. ………..http://news.nationalpost.com/news/world/saudis-ready-to-go-nuclear-all-options-are-on-the-table-if-talks-fail-to-contain-iran-ambassador-says?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+NP_Top_Stories+%28National+Post+-+Top+Stories%29
Saudi Arabia: an unlikely ally in the march towards renewable energy, Guardian, Molly Scott Cato, 5 June 15 The oil-rich kingdom’s enthusiasm for renewables has nothing to do with saving the planet from climate change and everything to do with economic dominance “……..How striking, therefore, to learn that the Saudi oil minister, Ali al-Naimi, is predicting that within just 25 years we could no longer need fossil fuels. This, from a representative of a country that has done more than most to block progress in climate negotiations.
Of course, this announcement has little, if anything, to do with a newly discovered yearning to save the planet from climate change; it has everything to do with economics. Saudi Arabia finds itself in the fortunate position whereby it can effortlessly switch from dominating the energy market of the 20th century through oil to dominating the 21st century with renewables. Al-Naimi believes that solar power will benefit the economy even more than fossil fuels. The evidence for this is that global investment in renewables jumped 16% in 2014, with solar attracting over half the total funding for the first time, driven by a 80% decline in manufacturing costs for solar in the last six years……..
Far from being a curse that concentrates power in the hands of an elite, renewables work most effectively when in community ownership. Energiewende(energy transformation) in Germany has shown this to be the case. Here, local ownership of renewables has provided a dramatic economic payback to investing communities.
The end game of climate change was always going to be a tussle between the vested interests of the past, using the wealth and power of the fossil fuel era to defend their assets, and the visionary supporters of the new clean energy technologies. The powerhouse states of the fossil era look set to overtake us on the path to a renewable energy future, while we continue to live under a finance curse inflicted on us by a government deeply attached to the finance industry. Saudi Arabia’s motivation may not be protecting the planet from climate change, or indeed improving community control over energy production, but it might just become a useful ally in the transformation towards a new energy era. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jun/04/saudi-arabia-ally-renewable-energy-oil-rich
US officials: ‘Saudis set to buy nuclear weapons from Pakistan’, IBT By Yasmin Kaye May 17, 2015 Saudi Arabia is said to have taken the “strategic decision” to acquire “off-the-shelf” nuclear weapons from ally Pakistan, senior US officials told the Sunday Times.
Sunni Arab states are increasingly concerned of the repercussions of a deal currently being negotiated between world powers and Shi’ite rival Iran, which they fear may still be able to develop a nuclear bomb.
The deal being negotiated between Iran and the permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany would see the Shi’ite nation curb its sensitive nuclear programme in exchange for sanctions relief.
“For the Saudis the moment has come,” a former US defence official told the Sunday Times last week.
“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.”
‘This stuff is available to them off the shelf’
Another US official working in intelligence told the paper that “hundreds of people at [CIA headquarters] Langley” were working to establish whether Islamabad had already supplied the Gulf nation with nuclear technology or weaponry………….
- Saudi Arabia has financed substantial amounts of Islamabad’s nuclear programme over the past three decades, providing Pakistan‘s government with billions of dollars of subsidised oil while taking delivery of Shaheen mobile ballistic missiles.
“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.
A senior British military officer also told the paper that Western military leaders “all assume the Saudis have made the decision to go nuclear.”
“The fear is that other Middle Eastern powers — Turkey and Egypt — may feel compelled to do the same and we will see a new, even more dangerous, arms race.”
Lt.Gen. Khalid Kidwai, who helped develop Pakistan’s nuclear program, denied Islamabad had ever sent nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia or any other country in recent comments. http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/us-officials-saudis-set-buy-nuclear-weapons-pakistan-1501733
Saudi Arabia vows to set off new Middle East arms race and ‘match Iran’s nuclear capability’ The Independent ADAM WITHNALL THURSDAY 14 MAY 2015 Saudi Arabia has threatened to spark a new kind of nuclear arms race in the Middle East, setting out a bullish stance ahead of a rare, high-profile meeting of the US and its Gulf allies at Camp David.
President Barack Obama faces an almost impossible balancing act between making overtures to Iran that will allow it to pursue its nuclear programme for energy purposes, and appeasing the security fears of Sunni Arab leaders………..
It sets up the prospect of a new kind of arms race between the Middle East’s various parties – the implication being that if Iran is to be left to its nuclear programme, why shouldn’t Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE?……..http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/saudi-arabia-vows-to-set-off-new-middle-east-arms-race-and-match-irans-nuclear-capability-10250789.html
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