FILE - In this Nov. 26, 2017 file photo released by the state-run Saudi Press Agency, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman speaks at a meeting of the Islamic Military Counterterrorism Alliance in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Saudi authorities claim they netted an astounding $106 billion in settlements from princes, top businessmen and officials involved in corruption. (Saudi Press Agency via AP, File) Image Credit: AP

London-based Pan-Arab paper Asharq Al Awsat noted that previously, Saudi Arabia had followed one of two strategies in order to prevent Iran from possessing nuclear weapons; either through international pressure and negotiations, or through relying on the international community support.

“The statement of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman had repercussions in Washington, where positions are usually divided. It is almost impossible that Washington would agree that Saudi Arabia builds its own nuclear weapon, since many countries oppose this move, including Israel. However, the crown prince has linked it to Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons. The new Saudi policy will thus make Europeans, Americans as well, and especially those who are flexible towards Iran, realise that Riyadh will not be satisfied with any safeguards if Tehran develops nuclear weapons, and that the Kingdom will follow suit in order to maintain the balance of deterrence.”

The Saudi crown prince has likened Iranian Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to Adolf Hitler, whose conquest of Europe in the Second World War wreaked havoc on international peace and stability, noted the Jordan Times. The prince also warned in no uncertain terms that his country would, without a doubt, develop and acquire a nuclear arsenal should Iran acquire one. “Iran is to blame for such an ominous scenario as it is the second nation after Israel that has set this process in motion. Israel was the first country in the region to have developed nuclear weapons and enjoyed a monopoly over them until other regional powers decided to respond in kind and acquire their own nuclear weapons. No doubt, these stern admonitions will fall on open ears of President Trump, who is already signalling his decision to break away from the 2015 accord with Tehran over its nuclear programme.”

It is clear to the world that Iran’s game of using its missiles in Yemen against Saudi Arabia is a threat to international peace and security, in addition to operating outside the international laws, wrote Kuwait’s Arab Times.

“Events in the past four decades proved that Saudi Arabia has a firm vision and it does not operate on reactionary policies. With the help of its allies, Saudi Arabia is able to foil the Iranian scheme without engaging in an open confrontation or direct war. Based on these facts, Iran is not the rival of Saudi Arabia because the former lacks strength, which the latter possesses. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman said the Kingdom can quickly develop a nuclear bomb to protect itself and other Gulf countries and then obtain global support, given that Saudi Arabia operates according to peaceful international policies and development cooperation rather than amassing weapons, while the Iranian people are starving.”

Regarding UNRWA, the Saudi Gazette pointed out that the US withdrawal of funding could not only cause a humanitarian disaster, but could trigger a severe backlash from the Palestinians. The paper pointed out that the US has long been the largest donor to UNRWA. “But US President Donald Trump’s administration has so far committed only $60 million [Dh220.68 million] to the agency this year. The assumption is that the US will not provide any more money to UNRWA for the rest of the year.”