Saudi Arabia is being accused of seeking nuclear weapons technology in response to the threat from Iran.
According to a new report by The Institute for Science and International Security, the the Saudi Government has accelerated research into nuclear programs and has begun building a team of experts.
They label the Saudi Kingdom a nuclear ”newcomer" and say it is pushing to arm itself with new technologies. The Washington DC-based group writes that “since nuclear action was scaled back in Iran, it has increased in the Saudi kingdom.”
Iran signed a landmark nuclear deal known as the JCPOA with world powers including the US, the UK, France and Russia in 2015. Many economic sanctions on Iran were lifted as part of an agreement that Iran would restrict and limit its sensitive nuclear ac-tivities.
The deal limited Iran’s sensitive nuclear program and subjected it to greater interna-tional monitoring by the IAEA. The nuclear deal with Iran (JCPOA0 was put together to calm tensions in the area, but some are concerned about Saudi Arabia’s nuclear inten-tions.
Because, it is claimed by the organisation, which monitors global proliferation issues, that in nearby Said Arabia, a new threat is growing.
It said, "Saudi Arabia is in the early stages of nuclear development. It also claimed Saudi will "more actively seek nuclear weapons capabilities" in retaliation to the situa-tion in Iran.
But currently Saudi Arabia seems to be is focused on civilian nuclear uses.
Saudi Arabia has previously stated its intention to build at least 16 nuclear reactors in the coming years. Saudi Arabia unveiled their plans to build 16 nuclear power reactors over the next 25 years at a cost of more than $80 billion. It projects the nuclear capacity by 2040 will be able to provide 15% of the power then, along with solar capacity.There are also plans for small reactors for desalination.
The six member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar and Oman, announced In December 2006 that the Council was commissioning a study on the peaceful use of nuclear en-ergy. France agreed to work with them on this, and Iran pledged assistance with nu-clear technology.
Currently Saudi Arabia’s energy comes from oil and gas, and there is a large demand for desalination, currently fueled by oil and gas.
In February 2007 the six states agreed with the IAEA to cooperate on a feasibility study for a regional nuclear power and desalination program in Saudi Arabia.