Prince Muqrin leads Saudi delegation to Washington Nuclear Summit

April 13, 2010

Chief of General Intelligence Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz is currently leading the Saudi delegation to the Nuclear Security Summit hosted by U.S. President Barack Obama, which began yesterday in Washington. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the conference, Prince Muqrin reiterated Saudi Arabia’s firm position that the Middle East should be free of all weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear weapons.

Regarding efforts to impose further sanctions on Iran, he warned, “Brothers in Iran should be aware of the danger of the situation and deal with the situation very seriously. If they do not have anything to hide about their nuclear program, they should give an opportunity to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to inspect and demonstrate that their program is for peaceful purposes.”

The Saudi delegation released an official statement not only calling for a nuclear weapons-free Middle East, but expressing hope for the achievement of a nuclear weapons-free world. Unfortunately, “The inflexible positions of some states with regard to the acquisition of nuclear weapons without being subject to international safeguards has made that objective difficult to attain and might lead to a breakdown of the nonproliferation regime.”

The statement characterized Israel’s nuclear weapons arsenal as “a fundamental obstacle to the achievement of security and stability in the Middle Eastern region.” Regarding Iran’s nuclear program, it called for “international endeavors to find a peaceful solution to this crisis through dialogue in such a way as to guarantee the right of Iran and other states in the region to the peaceful use of nuclear energy in accordance with the procedural safeguards, and under the supervision, of the International Atomic Energy Agency.” Concern was also expressed that weapons of mass destruction could fall into the hands of terrorists.

The statement praised the United States for changing its nuclear strategy and vowing not to use nuclear weapons against most non-nuclear states. “This is a major step towards making such weapons unusable and we hope that it will provide other States with an incentive to renounce their ambitions to acquire nuclear weapons,” it said.