In a story published Wednesday, the British newspaper said it had obtained a transcript of a talk Prince Turki al-Faisal gave at a meeting of senior NATO leaders in Britain this month. While the prince did not say directly that Saudi Arabia would begin a nuclear program, he said the consequences of a nuclear-armed Iraq would force his country "to pursue policies which could lead to untold and possibly dramatic consequences."
A senior Saudi official told the Guardian this week the prince meant nuclear weapons.
"We cannot live in a situation where Iran has nuclear weapons and we don't. It's as simple as that," the official said. "If Iran develops a nuclear weapon, that will be unacceptable to us and we will have to follow suit."
Turki called Iran "a paper tiger with steel claws" and accused the government of "meddling and destabilizing" the Mideast.
"Iran is very sensitive about other countries meddling in its affairs," the prince said. "But it should treat others like it expects to be treated. The kingdom expects Iran to practice what it preaches."