Have the Saudis cut a deal with Pakistan to buy nuclear weapons? Yes, reports the BBC.

BBC“Saudi Arabia has invested in Pakistani nuclear weapons projects, and believes it could obtain atomic bombs at will, a variety of sources have told BBC Newsnight,” the BBC reports. “While the kingdom’s quest has often been set in the context of countering Iran’s atomic programme, it is now possible that the Saudis might be able to deploy such devices more quickly than the Islamic republic.”

“Earlier this year, a senior NATO decision maker told me that he had seen intelligence reporting that nuclear weapons made in Pakistan on behalf of Saudi Arabia are now sitting ready for delivery,” reports the BBC. “Last month Amos Yadlin, a former head of Israeli military intelligence, told a conference in Sweden that if Iran got the bomb, ‘the Saudis will not wait one month. They already paid for the bomb, they will go to Pakistan and bring what they need to bring.’ Since 2009, when King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia warned visiting US special envoy to the Middle East Dennis Ross that if Iran crossed the threshold, ‘we will get nuclear weapons,’ the kingdom has sent the Americans numerous signals of its intentions.”

“Gary Samore, until March 2013 President Barack Obama’s counter-proliferation adviser, has told Newsnight: ‘I do think that the Saudis believe that they have some understanding with Pakistan that, in extremis, they would have claim to acquire nuclear weapons from Pakistan.'”….

…..”Having warned the Americans in private for years, last year Saudi officials in Riyadh escalated it to a public warning, telling a journalist from the Times ‘it would be completely unacceptable to have Iran with a nuclear capability and not the kingdom,'” notes the BBC. “But were these statements bluster, aimed at forcing a stronger US line on Iran, or were they evidence of a deliberate, long-term plan for a Saudi bomb? Both, is the answer I have received from former key officials. One senior Pakistani, speaking on background terms, confirmed the broad nature of the deal — probably unwritten — his country had reached with the kingdom and asked rhetorically ‘what did we think the Saudis were giving us all that money for? It wasn’t charity.’ Another, a one-time intelligence officer from the same country, said he believed ‘the Pakistanis certainly maintain a certain number of warheads on the basis that if the Saudis were to ask for them at any given time they would immediately be transferred.'”

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