Former US Envoy: Saudi King Vowed to Obtain Nukes to ‘Counter Iran’

First Public Confirmation of April 2009 Pledge

The Obama Administration’s former Special Advisor for the Persian Gulf and Southwest Asia Dennis Ross has revealed that during an April 2009 conversion, Saudi Arabia’s king repeatedly told him that his nation intended to obtain nuclear weapons to counter Iran.

If they get nuclear weapons, we will get nuclear weapons,” the king reportedly repeated several times during the conversation, apparently ignoring Ross’s reiterating of the administration opposition to nuclear proliferation.

Saudi officials have several times hinted at nuclear ambitions, always citing Iran’s non-existent program as a justification, but this is the first time the king has been directly quoted making such a belligerent pledge.

The revelation could prove embarrassing for President Obama, who pushed through a $30 billion sale of US weaponry to Saudi Arabia only last year, nominally to “help the US economy.” Selling such a massive amount of weaponry to the nation, which had just gotten done invading Bahrain to crush public dissent there, was already controversial, but having done it knowing that the nation harbors nuclear ambitions is enormously irresponsible.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of