Saudi Arabia, growing increasingly nervous about its neighbor across the Persian Gulf, may be hedging its bets and crafting a nuclear back-up plan if a diplomatic deal with Iran fails to halt the Islamic Republic's alleged march toward a weapon.
The latest sign is a curious visit on Wednesday by Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the day before Secretary of State John Kerry's visit to the capital Riyadh.
Sharif arrived in Saudi Arabia following a visit by the Egyptian president on Sunday and Turkey's president on Monday -- but the Pakistan PM's House of Saud call might be the most significant of the three, considering Pakistan is seen by some analysts as Saudi Arabia's future nuclear tech supplier, should the Kingdom take that leap.
"The visit by the PM ... almost certainly has to be seen in the context of Saudi Arabia looking to Pakistan for nuclear cooperation to counter Iran's emerging status," Simon Henderson, of the Washington Institute, told Fox News.
Henderson, in an essay for the Washington Institute last month, also noted Riyadh's support for Pakistan's nuclear program, "providing financing in return for a widely assumed understanding that, if needed, Islamabad will transfer technology or even warheads."
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