The US decision to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), more commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal, has sparked uncertainty over the nuclear agreement and Tehran’s potential reaction.
Riyadh will seek to develop its own nukes if Tehran decides to renew its nuclear weapons program, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said.
“If Iran acquires nuclear capability we will do everything we can to do the same,” the minister said, as quoted by the CNN.
Riyadh’s statement comes after Iran, earlier in the day, revealed that it had devised a plan to respond to the US exit from the deal, though without specifying the details. US President Donald Trump, in his turn, warned Iran of “very severe consequences” in case Tehran restarts its military nuclear program.
In the wake of Trump’s announcement that he was pulling out Washington from the 2015 nuclear agreement, Saudi Arabia welcomed this step, adding that it would follow the US and would also reinstate anti-Iranian sanctions.
The sanctions were lifted under the JCPOA in exchange for Iran maintaining a peaceful nuclear program. The deal was sealed in July, 2015, between the European Union and the P5+1 group of countries — China, Germany, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.