Saudi Arabia is said to be engaged in a strategic review of its security that includes as one possibility acquiring nuclear weapons from Pakistan.
The Guardian reports that three options are being considered. One option is to acquire a nuclear capability as a deterrent. Another, to maintain or enter into an alliance with a nuclear power to offer it protection. Finally, to negotiate an agreement for a nuclear free Middle East. Washington until now has assumed that the Saudis were content to rely upon the U.S. with its nuclear arsenal for protection. Analysts say the review shows that the Saudis feel insecure in their relationship with the US and want to lessen their reliance on US protection. The Saudis worry not just about Iran but also Israel which appears to be under almost no international pressure to abandon its nuclear program or weapons except for Arab nations.David Albright, of the Institute fo Science and International Security in Washington said:A BBC Newsnight report citing various sources went further and a NATO official said "that nuclear weapons made in Pakistan on behalf of Saudi Arabia are now sitting ready for delivery." Amos Yadin, a former head of Israeli intelligence said that if Iran got the bomb, the Saudis would not wait one month: “They already paid for the bomb, they will go to Pakistan and bring what they need to bring." In 2009, King Abdullah warned the visiting US envoy to the Middle East that if Iran were to cross the nuclear threshold that Saudi Arabia would get nuclear weapons.
"There has always been worries that the Saudis would go down this path if provoked. There is growing US hostility which could lead to the removal of the US umbrella and will the Saudis be intimidated by Iran? They've got to be nervous."The Saudis bought intermediate range missiles from China back in 1988 that could carry nuclear bombs to any part of the middle east. Four years ago, a Saudi defence team toured Pakistani nuclear facilities. Albright doubted if anyone would sell nuclear weapons to Saudi Arabia. However, U.S. officials told a London newspaper that Saudi Arabia would buy atomic weapons from Pakistan "off the shelf." The Saudis provided considerable financial support for the Pakistani nuclear program.