Colin Kahl, Melissa Dalton e Matthew Irvine, del Center for a New American Security, hanno condotto una ricerca sulle potenziali conseguenze di un Iran dotato di armamento nucleare. Nel report, dal titolo “Atomic Kingdom: If Iran Builds the Bomb, Will Saudi Arabia Be Next?“, gli autori sostengono l’improbabilità che l’Arabia Saudita, in risposta ad un Iran nucleare, arrivi a dotarsi anch’essa di armamento nucleare:
The Saudis would be highly motivated to acquire some form of nuclear deterrent to counter an Iranian bomb.
However, significant disincentives – including the prospect of worsening Saudi Arabia’s security environment, rupturing strategic ties with the United States, damaging the country’s international reputation and making the Kingdom the target of sanctions – would discourage a mad rush by Riyadh to develop nuclear weapons. And, in any case, Saudi Arabia lacks the technological and bureaucratic wherewithal to do so any time in the foreseeable future. Saudi Arabia is more likely to respond to Iranian nuclearization by continuing to bolster its conventional defenses against Iranian aggression while engaging in a long-term hedging strategy designed to improve civilian nuclear capabilities.