In a recent interview with 60 Minutes, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman doubled down on his claim that Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is the “new Hitler of the Middle East” and said that the kingdom would respond to a nuclear Iran by developing its own nuclear weapon.
Saudi Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammad bin Salman Photo Credit: EPA-EFE
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman vowed during an interview with 60 Minutes that the kingdom would develop a nuclear weapon if Iran becomes a nuclear state.
Speaking to CBS’ Norah O’Donnell in his first interview with an American television network, the 32-year-old defense minister said: “Saudi Arabia does not want to acquire any nuclear bomb, but without a doubt, if Iran developed a nuclear bomb, we will follow suit as soon as possible.”
Also in the interview, which will be aired in full on Sunday, bin Salman commented on the Saudi-Iranian tensions, dismissing the claim that their relationship is a rivalry. “Iran is not a rival to Saudi Arabia,” he told O’Donnell. “Its army is not among the top five armies in the Muslim world. The Saudi economy is larger than the Iranian economy. Iran is far from being equal to Saudi Arabia.”
Saudi Arabia’s crown prince says his country will develop a nuclear bomb if Iran builds nuclear weapons. Mohammed Bin Salman made that startling statement during @NorahODonnell‘s recent visit to Saudi Arabia for this Sunday’s @60Minutes https://t.co/iTga0YCnPm pic.twitter.com/iKRXt6pqYZ
— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 15, 2018
When asked by O’Donnell about Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, the young prince doubled down on his claim that he is the “new Hitler of the Middle East.”
Saudi crown prince says Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei is “very much like Hitler.” In his first American television interview, the prince tells 60 Minutes his country will get its own nuclear bomb if Iran develops one. https://t.co/wo0W17n8Y0 pic.twitter.com/TjprQTY8rN
— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) March 15, 2018
“He wants to expand. He wants to create his own project in the Middle East very much like Hitler who wanted to expand at the time,” he explained. “Many countries around the world and in Europe did not realize how dangerous Hitler was until what happened, happened. I don’t want to see the same events happening in the Middle East.”
While the interview took place in Saudi Arabia, bin Salman will be in the United States later this week for a visit marking 75 years of the Saudi-American relationship.
Watch: Excerpt of the Saudi crown prince’s first interview with an American network