The Saudi Government has accelerated research into nuclear programmes and has begun building a team of experts, according to a new report by.
Labelled a nuclear ”newcomer” the Saudi Kingdom is pushing to arm itself with new technologies, the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) said.
The Washington DC-based group wrote since nuclear action was scaled back in Iran, it has increased in the Saudi kingdom.
Iran signed a landmark nuclear deal with world powers including the US, the UK, France and Russia in 2015.
Huge economic sanctions on Iran were lifted as a result of it restricting its sensitive nuclear activities.
The deal limited Iran’s sensitive nuclear program and subjected it to greater international monitoring.
But in nearby Said Arabia, a new threat is growing, it is claimed.
The organisation which monitors global proliferation issues (ISIS) said: “Saudi Arabia is in the early stages of nuclear development.
It is also claimed Saudi will “more actively seek nuclear weapons capabilities” in retaliation to the situation in Iran.
But currently it is focused on civilian nuclear uses.
Former US President Barrack Obama’s administration claimed the nuclear deal would calm tensions in the area
However, this is not the case.
Saudi Arabia has already stated its intention to build at least 16 nuclear reactors in the coming years.
The report says the deal “has also not eliminated the Kingdom’s desire for nuclear weapons capabilities and even nuclear weapons, but rather reduced the pressure on Saudi Arabia to match Iran’s nuclear weapons capabilities in the short term.”
“There is little reason to doubt that Saudi Arabia will more actively seek nuclear weapons capabilities, motivated by its concerns about the ending of the [nuclear deal’s] major nuclear limitations starting after year 10 of the deal or sooner if the deal fails.
“If Iran expands its enrichment capabilities, as it states it will do, Tehran will reduce nuclear breakout times, or the time needed to produce enough weapon-grade uranium for a nuclear weapon, to weeks and then days.
“With these concerns, the Kingdom is likely to seek nuclear weapons capabilities as a hedge.”
The report did not find any evidence that Saudi Arabia has begun a clandestine weapons program, however, it said this is believed to be a future goal
It stated: “At this point in time and at its current pace of nuclear development, Saudi Arabia would require years to create the nuclear infrastructure needed to launch a nuclear weapons effort.”