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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A Saudi prince, in a remark designed to send chills through the Obama administration and its allies, suggested that the kingdom might consider producing nuclear weapons if it found itself between atomic arsenals in Iran and Israel.
The prince, Turki al-Faisal, who has served as the Saudi intelligence chief and as ambassador to the United States, made the comment on Monday at a Persian Gulf security forum in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The remark confirmed Western fears about the potential for an arms race in the Middle East if Iran moves to produce a nuclear weapon. But it also reflected the hardening views among the Persian Gulf’s Arab states that they must rely on themselves — and not just on Western protection — as tensions with Iran grow worse. Kuwaiti authorities are pressing ahead with several prosecutions against people accused of being Iranian spies, and Bahrain’s rulers contend that a cell linked to Iran sought to attack the Saudi Embassy.