Saudi Govt. Accused of Considering Buying Nukes From Pakistan

King's Meeting With New PM Fuels More Speculation

Saudi King Abdullah met with Pakistan’s new Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf a few days ago, seeking to solidify relations between the two nations as Saudi troops are being deployed on “training” missions to Pakistan.

The meeting is seemingly just one of many usual and uninteresting meetings, but has fueled more speculation from US policymakers and analysts that the Saudi government is again sending out feelers about the prospect of buying nuclear weapons from Pakistan’s arsenal.

The rumor has been floating around for years, and keeps coming to the surface every once in awhile, with Iran usually blamed for creating the Saudi interest by having a civilian nuclear program of their own.

Interestingly the backstory of Saudi interest has virtually nothing to do with Iran, and include allegations that they tried once to buy nuclear weapons from Saddam Hussein. This failed, presumably, because Saddam didn’t ever actually have any.

But Pakistan does, and has a long-standing defense relationship with the Saudi monarchy. The flurries of speculation, which at times have included claims Pakistan would place their own nukes in Saudi Arabia for or have a couple nukes “set aside” for the Saudis is sure to continue, but which parts are true and which are just wild guesses remain uncertain.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.