Nuclear Proliferation: The Case of Saudi Arabia
Abstract:Since the 1970s, the world's attention has focused on nuclear proliferation in Iran and Iraq. Very little attention has been given to nuclear proliferation in the third regional power in the Persian Gulf — Saudi Arabia. This article addresses the question of potential Saudi nuclear ambition. Most policymakers and analysts agree that Saudi Arabia does not possess nuclear weapons. Still, some argue that the Kingdom has both strategic incentives and financial resources to pursue a nuclear program. This article examines the security threats to Saudi Arabia from Iran, Iraq, Israel, and Yemen. It also analyzes the impact of domestic economic and political reform on Riyadh's security policy. The article argues that the US' strong commitments to defend Saudi Arabia against external threats have been crucial in reducing incentives to acquire nuclear weapons.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: June 1, 2006
The Middle East Institute has published The Middle East Journal quarterly since 1947. The Journal provides original and objective research and analysis, as well as source material, on the area from Morocco to Pakistan and including Central Asia. The Journal provides the background necessary for an understanding and appreciation of the region's political and economic development, cultural heritage, ethnic and religious diversity.
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