Inside Story

Will Saudi Arabia go nuclear?

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is reported to have nearly finished building its first nuclear reactor.

Last year, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman warned that “if Iran develops a nuclear bomb, we will follow suit”. 

Now, Saudi Arabia is said to be a few months away from completing its first nuclear reactor and some arms control experts are alarmed.

Photos have been published reportedly showing the reactor site in the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology on the outskirts of Riyadh.

Construction is apparently nearly completed around a vessel intended to contain atomic fuel.

Saudi Arabia has yet to sign up to an international framework aimed at ensuring atomic programmes are not used to build weapons.

What does this all mean for an already tense and volatile Middle East?


Presenter: Hazem Sika


Ibrahim Fraihat – Associate professor of conflict resolution at the Doha Institute

Seyed Mostafa Khoshcheshm – Professor of journalism at the Fars Media Faculty under the Applied Sciences University

Mark Fitzpatrick – Director of the non-proliferation and nuclear policy programme at the International Institute for Strategic Studies