Saudi Arabia on Tuesday for the first time displayed its medium-range ballistic missiles — a move that analysts interpreted as primarily aimed at Iran.
A pair of Dongfeng-3 missiles were rolled out during a military parade in Riyadh. The Saudi government bought the missiles from China in 1987 but had refrained for decades from publicly showing them off, according to an analysis by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
The weapons traditionally are kept deployed at a base to the south of the Saudi capital, where they are positioned for possible launches against Iran, said Washington Institute fellow Simon Henderson.
In recent years, Saudi Arabia reportedly acquired more sophisticated Chinese Dongfeng-21 missiles, but there were no reported sightings of those missiles during Tuesday’s parade.
“The missile display signals Saudi Arabia’s determination to counter Tehran’s growing strength, as well as its readiness to act independently of the United States,” Henderson said.
Saudi Arabia is worried that ongoing talks between world powers and Iran will fail to produce a deal that permanently ends Tehran’s potential to construct a nuclear weapon. A prominent Saudi prince recently urged other Arab Gulf nations to develop advanced atomic capabilities in order to create a “balance of forces” against Iran.
Pakistani army chief Gen. Raheel Sharif was in attendance at Tuesday’s parade. His presence will likely “reawaken speculation” that the Saudi government could attempt to acquire Pakistani atomic weapons in order to counter Iran, Henderson said.
In a blog post for Arms Control Wonk, Aaron Stein, an associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, posited that Saudi Arabia was trying to send a message to the Obama administration over “its current discomfort with the way the U.S. has handled Syria, the Arab Spring and the Iranian nuclear issue.
What We're Following See More »
"According to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll, the first national post-debate survey, 43 percent of registered voters said the Democratic candidate won, compared with 26 percent who opted for the Republican Party’s standard bearer. Her 6-point lead over Trump among likely voters is unchanged from our previous survey: Clinton still leads Trump 42 percent to 36 percent in the race for the White House, with Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson taking 9 percent of the vote."
After a lighthearted beginning, Donald Trump's appearance at the Al Smith charity dinner in New York "took a tough turn as the crowd repeatedly booed the GOP nominee for his sharp-edged jokes about his rival Hillary Clinton."
Evan McMullin came out on top in a Emerson College poll of Utah with 31% of the vote. Donald Trump came in second with 27%, while Hillary Clinton took third with 24%. Gary Johnson received 5% of the vote in the survey.
A new Quinnipiac University poll finds Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump by seven percentage points, 47%-40%. Trump’s “lead among men and white voters all but” vanished from the university’s early October poll. A new PPRI/Brookings survey shows a much bigger lead, with Clinton up 51%-36%. And an IBD/TIPP poll leans the other way, showing a virtual dead heat, with Trump taking 41% of the vote to Clinton’s 40% in a four-way matchup.