Saudi Arabia Flag for Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia

Although Saudi Arabia does not possess weapons of mass destruction, Saudi officials have hinted at the desirability of possessing nuclear weapons to counter the nuclear ambitions of regional rival Iran. Since its 2015 intervention in Yemen, Saudi Arabia has been the target of regular missile attacks by Houthi militias.

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Region   Middle East and North Africa

1987 First believed to have purchased intermediate-range ballistic missiles from China

$15 billion U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system purchased in 2018

2015 Signed small quantities protocol with the IAEA


Nuclear

  • Has never openly pursued a nuclear weapons program
  • Plans to construct two nuclear power reactors by 2040
  • Established the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy in Riyadh in 2010

Saudi Arabia Nuclear Overview


Biological

  • Has never pursued a biological weapons program
  • 2005 domestic law prohibits the manufacture and storage of biological weapons


Missile

  • Possesses intermediate range ballistic missiles, purchased from China
  • Hosted U.S.-made missile defense systems since 1990's
  • U.S. removed missile defenses from Saudi Arabia in 2021 as part of a larger regional drawdown

Saudi Arabia Missile Overview


Chemical

  • Has never pursued a chemical weapons program
  • 2005 domestic law prohibits the manufacture and storage of chemical weapons

Treaties and Regimes Memberships

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NPT

The NPT is a treaty aimed at limiting the spread of nuclear weapons through the three pillars of non-proliferation, disarmament, and peaceful use of nuclear energy.

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Biological Weapons Convention (BTWC)

The BTWC mandates the elimination of existing biological weapons and prohibits developing, stockpiling, or using biological and toxin weapons.

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Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)

The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) requires countries to destroy all chemical weapons and prohibits developing, stockpiling, or using chemical weapons.

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Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT)

The GICNT is an international partnership intended to improve international capacity for prevention, detection and response to nuclear terrorism, particularly the acquisition, transportation or utilization of nuclear and radiological materials.

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Facilities

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Analysis

Saudi Arabia

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