Saudi Arabia Is Manufacturing Ballistic Missiles With China’s Help, CNN Reports
Classified US intelligence shows that Saudi Arabia is “actively manufacturing” its own ballistic missiles with the help of China. There have been multiple large-scale transfers of sensitive ballistic missile technology between China and Saudi Arabia, CNN first reported Thursday, citing unnamed sources familiar with the material. The report says that US officials at numerous agencies, including the National Security Council at the White House, have been briefed in recent months on the transfers. Saudi Arabia has in the past purchased ballistic missiles from China but this would mark the first time that it is making its own. This could affect efforts to restore the Iran nuclear deal, as the world powers have in part been working to curb Iran’s ballistic missile program. If Iran’s enemy and regional rival Saudi Arabia is now producing such weapons it is unlikely that Iran will agree to slow or halt its own production. Israel also produces its own ballistic missiles. The Saudis are already manufacturing ballistic missiles at a site previously constructed with Chinese assistance, CNN reported, citing satellite images taken between October 26 and November 9 and analyzed by outside experts. It is possible that the missiles being manufactured in Saudi Arabia are of Chinese design, according to the report.