GOP presidential front-runner Donald TrumpDonald TrumpMegyn Kelly blames member of Trump transition team for death threats Lewandowski: We can say 'Merry Christmas' again under Trump Trump to visit Ohio State victims MORE said late Monday that the Iran nuclear deal made Tehran a global power that now threatens Saudi Arabia’s existence.
“We made a power out of Iran,” the outspoken billionaire told host Bill O’Reilly on Fox News’s “The O’Reilly Factor.”
“That’s phase one — to go into Saudi Arabia and, frankly, the Saudis don’t survive without us. And the question is, at what point do we get involved and how much will Saudi Arabia pay us to save them? That’s ultimately what’s going to happen.”
Trump argued that his presidency would back Saudi Arabia in any regional conflict that emerges in the Middle East.
“Well, I would want to help Saudi Arabia,” he said. "I would want to protect Saudi Arabia. But Saudi Arabia is going to have to help us economically. They were making, before the oil went down ... they were making $1 billion a day.”
Trump additionally charged that aiding Saudi interests is essential, given the possibility Iran eventually acquires nuclear weapons.
“You know that Iran is going to have a nuclear weapon very soon,” he told O’Reilly. "The ink isn’t even dry, and they have already violated the deal and a lot of people are calling for sanctions.”
Trump’s remarks come as tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia are boiling over in the Middle East.
Saudi Arabia executed Nimr al-Nimr last weekend after the Shiite cleric repeatedly criticized the Saudi monarchy. His death has since sparked anti-Saudi protests in Iran and other Shia-majority nations.
The White House urged that both nations “show restraint” heading into 2016.