Mar 15, 2018

Saudi crown prince warns of arms race if Iran develops nukes

Photo by Bandar Algaloud / Saudi Kingdom Council / Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told CBS that Saudi Arabia is prepared to enter an arms race if Iran were to develop nuclear weapons, reports Reuters.

"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.”
— Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Iran's response: “He has no idea of politics apart from bitter talk that emanates from a lack of foresight...His remarks do not deserve a response, because he is a delusional, naive person, who never talks but with lies and bitterness,” said Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman, Bahram Qasemi.

Why it matters: The two states have had no diplomatic relations since 2016, and have consistently backed rival sides in armed conflicts and political crises. Nuclear proliferation would bring instability in the region to new heights, with offshoot implications for Israel — the only country in the Middle East currently believed to possess a nuclear arsenal.

Go deeper

Updated 7 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 6,325,303 — Total deaths: 377,460 — Total recoveries — 2,727,679Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 1,820,523 — Total deaths: 105,644 — Total recoveries: 458,231 — Total tested: 17,340,682Map.
  3. Public health: Protests against police brutality threaten coronavirus response — Controlling the virus in nursing homes won't be easy.
  4. Business: More than 1 in 6 black workers lost jobs between February and April.
  5. Climate: The alarm over climate financial risk gets louder because of coronavirus.
  6. Media: Interest in the George Floyd protests has soared past the coronavirus.
Updated 42 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Updates: George Floyd protests nationwide

Police officers wearing riot gear push back demonstrators outside of the White House on Monday. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

Protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people continued across the U.S., inciting a federal response from President Trump, the National Guard, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection.

The latest: Immigration agents have been deployed to assist federal, state and local law enforcement. The U.S. Secret Service closed the streets immediately on all four sides of the White House Tuesday, until "riots become peaceful, or stop."

48 mins ago - Science

NASA passes the torch

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

With the historic crewed SpaceX launch last weekend, NASA passed the torch to private companies that will need to step up to build the economy the space agency envisions in orbit.

Why it matters: This new era of spaceflight will likely be marked by new conflicts — possibly including product placement (like the Tesla that drove the astronauts to the pad on Saturday), safety concerns and cultural differences between companies, the space agencies and people they serve.