“If they get nuclear weapons, we will get nuclear weapons."
That's the quote Dennis Ross cites from Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah when the two met in April 2009. Abdullah's warning meant that if Iran got a nuclear weapon, then so would Saudi Arabia. According to the article in Haaretz, Ross made the revelation Tuesday night.
The quote puts an exclamation point on what many have feared if Iran gets a nuclear bomb … that it will spur a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. While Iran's nuclear program threatens Israel, it also poses a grave threat to Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States and Egypt.
It also reveals the great divide in the Middle East between Sunni and Shiite Muslims. They're bitter enemies.
It's also another reason why some believe it's entirely plausible that Saudi Arabia would allow Israeli planes to fly over Saudi airspace on their way to attack Iran's nuclear facilities. It would be the Mideast saying in action, "The enemy of my enemy is my friend."
Preventing a Mideast nuclear arms race is a goal of the Obama administration. But many are concerned the administration progress with Iran is agonizingly slow.
Ross makes a sensible proposal when he says the P5+1 countries negotiating with Iran "… should set a deadline for the conclusion of diplomatic contacts – and make Tehran aware of it."
He also makes a telling point of why Iran fears a U.S. attack more than an Israeli one because "an Israeli attack is not regime-threatening, while an American attack is."