Saudi crown prince: If Iran develops nuclear bomb, so will Saudi

Last summer, Saudi Arabia - along with Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain - collectively severed ties with Qatar, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism and aligning its policy with that of Shia Iran.

MBS has separated his parents out of fear that she would object to his amassing power and might try to influence King Salman against it, NBC reports.

He added: "Iran is far from being equal to the Saudi kingdom".

In the interview, Prince Mohammed, 32, played down Iran's power, saying its army was not well ranked in the Muslim world and that Saudi Arabia had a larger economy.

Crown Prince Mohammed, who had previously compared Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamanei to Adolf Hitler, said he stands by that statement.

"Many countries around the world and in Europe did not realise how unsafe Hitler was until what happened, happened".

Media captionWill Saudi Arabia go to war with Iran? I don't want to see the same events happening in the Middle East.

Saudi Energy Minister Khaled al-Faleh said in October that the nuclear program would start by building two reactors, each producing between 1.2 and 1.6 gigawatts of electricity.

It is not known to have attempted to develop nuclear arms on its own but has reportedly invested in Pakistani nuclear weapons projects.

Iran also signed the non-proliferation treaty, and has long insisted its nuclear programmes are for peaceful purposes only.

Since his appointment in June, Prince Salman has championed social and economic reforms in conservative Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter.

Bin Salman's comments come amid warnings that Riyadh's refusal to accept restrictions on uranium enrichment and plutonium extraction means it seeks to keep a nuclear weapons option open. But his successor, Donald Trump, has called the deal "the worst ever".