Saudi Arabia’s threats to launch a nuclear weapons program of their own in retaliation for any P5+1 deal allowing Iran to keep its civilian nuclear program is likely to begin and end with them just buying the weapons “off-the-shelf,” according to officials.
Instead of launching a large, complex weapons program of their own, US officials are predicting the Saudi government will simply write a big check and get the bomb from Pakistan.
While it is not unprecedented for countries to work together on nuclear weapons programs, it would be a first for the Saudis to simply buy the arms straight from an existing power.
And while Pakistan would likely face a backlash internationally for selling nuclear arms, the Sharif government is also keen to improve its ties with the Saudis, which are under strain after Pakistan refused to join the Yemen war. Selling the kingdom nukes would be the ultimate rapprochement.