Saudi Arabia possesses a sizable stockpile of mineable uranium ore; has announced an intention to build several nuclear reactors across the country; and possesses several types of ballistic missiles that could be used to deliver nuclear weapons. While these factors do not necessarily indicate the country’s interest in developing nuclear weapons at this time, Saudi Arabia’s Small Quantities Protocol exempts the country from IAEA monitoring and inspections obligations, which increases ambiguity around the country’s nuclear intentions and capabilities.
Saudi Arabia voted in favour of adopting the TPNW at the UN Diplomatic Conference in 2017. After having voted in favour of the previous annual UN General Assembly resolutions on the Treaty, Saudi Arabia abstained on the vote in 2021.
- Saudi Arabia should urgently adhere to the TPNW.
- Saudi Arabia should conclude and bring into force an Additional Protocol with the IAEA, and rescind its Small Quantities Protocol. Saudi Arabia should also sign and ratify the CTBT.