During his two-week visit to the United States, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) renewed his calls for the U.S. to fully withdraw from the nuclear Iran deal, saying the accord would not prevent Iran’s regime from acquiring nuclear weapons and likened it to “waiting for the bullet to reach your head.”
“Delaying it and watching them getting that bomb, that means you are waiting for the bullet to reach your head,” MBS, 32, said Monday during a meeting with the New York Times. “So you have to move from today.”
MBS’s visit reportedly will include Washington, New York, Silicon Valley, and Houston before he returns home.
“We know the target of Iran,” MBS reportedly said. “If they have a nuclear weapon, it’s a shield for them to let them do whatever they want in the Middle East, to make sure that no one attacks them or they will use their nuclear weapons.”
MBS asserted this month during a CBS interview that Riyadh will pursue the development of nuclear weapons development if Iran acquires one. In that same interview, MBS said Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei is “very much like Hitler” and referred to him as “the new Hitler.”
“Iran is not a rival to Saudi Arabia. Its army is not among the top five armies in the Muslim world,” MBS said. “The Saudi economy is larger than the Iranian economy. Iran is far from being equal to Saudi Arabia.”
Both nations follow different sects of Islam, with Iran being mostly Shia and Saudi Arabia being Sunni. They are also in the midst of a bloody power struggle throughout the Middle East which includes Yemen, Syria, and Libya.
On Sunday, Saudi Arabia intercepted and destroyed seven missiles that were fired at it by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen. According to CNN, one person, an Egyptian resident, died as a result of falling debris, marking the first such casualty on Saudi soil in three years.
“These hostile acts continue to pose a direct threat to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and threaten regional, as well as international, security,” a statement from Saudi coalition forces spokesman Col. Turki al-Maliki read.
Saudi Arabia intercepted an Iranian missile launched by Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen in December.
That same month, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said a marker on one of the fragments bore distinct signatures and markings of a typical Iranian missile.
However, Iran denied this and claimed the missile Haley displayed was “fabricated.”