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Thursday, November 20, 2003
SAUDIS REVIEW OPTIONS FOR NUKES

SAUDIS REVIEW OPTIONS FOR NUKES
LONDON [MENL] -- Saudi Arabia has drafted a strategic plan that envisions
the end of a U.S. military umbrella over the kingdom and the procurement of
nuclear weapons.

Western intelligence sources said that the Saudi leadership has begun
seriously considering the option of acquiring or developing nuclear weapons.
The sources said the Saudis have discussed the issue with Pakistan and China
as well as at least one other Muslim country.

"The Saudi effort has been led by [Defense Minister] Prince Sultan," a
senior intelligence source said. "Sultan believes that nuclear weapons are
required to save the Saudi regime from Iran."

The Saudi discussions were prompted by Iran's nuclear program, which the
United States has asserted serves as a cover for the development of nuclear
weapons. The sources said the prospect of an Iranian nuclear program by 2006
has dismayed the Saudi kingdom. During the 1980s, Saudi Arabia was said to
have funded Iraq's nuclear weapons program to balance the Iranian threat.

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