World War 3 fears SURGE as experts warn Saudi Arabia could be seeking ‘NUCLEAR weapons’

According to a report published in The Washington Post, Saudi Arabia appears to have constructed a ballistic missile factory, which could threaten to trigger a new Middle Eastern arms race. Saudi Arabia already owns foreign-brought ballistic missiles but has yet to construct its own. A number of experts have warned this could signal a Saudi desire to become nuclear armed.

Satellite images taken in November appear to show a ballistic missile factory near the town of Al-Watah, according to the report.

The site is situated next to an existing Saudi Arabian missile base.

A team led by nuclear expert Jeffrey Lewis, from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, uncovered the pictures.

Mr Lewis said the images raise “the possibility that Saudi Arabia is going to build longer-range missiles and seek nuclear weapons”.

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He warned: “We may be underestimating their desire and their capabilities.”

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman warned last year that Saudi Arabia would seek nuclear weapons if its regional rival Iran acquires them.

He said: “Saudi Arabia does not want to acquire any nuclear bomb, but without a doubt, if Iran developed a nuclear bomb we will follow suit as soon as possible.”

Iran claims its nuclear programme is peaceful, though this is disputed by rival powers.

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The US withdrew from an agreement last year aimed at stopping Iran acquiring nuclear weapons.

President Trump claimed Iran had violated the spirit of the agreement by continuing to develop ballistic missiles and funding terror groups across the Middle East.

Fabian Hinz, who works alongside Mr Lewis, told Newsweek “it is difficult to tell” whether Saudi Arabia is attempting to acquire nuclear weapons.

However, he added: “If you want to have nuclear weapons, in general, you also want to have the means to domestically build the delivery systems.”