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Iran rejects the participation of Gulf States in nuclear talks

February 10, 2014 at 10:44 am

Iran rejected on Tuesday a request by a senior Saudi official that certain Arab Gulf states take part in the nuclear negotiations between Tehran and the P5+1 group of six world powers.

In addition to the objections raised by Israel, Saudi Arabia also expressed worries about the interim agreement that was recently reached between Iran and the international community, warning that such a deal could potentially boost Tehran’s ambitions in the region.

The spokesperson for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, Marzieh Afkham, stated that the Saudi request is “irrelevant”, adding that Iran has its own mechanisms for dialogue with its neighbours.

Prince Turki Al-Faisal, the former Saudi intelligence chief who also served as an ambassador to Britain and the United States, suggested on Sunday that negotiations with Iran should not be confined to the P5+1 only, which includes the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany. He argued that the talks should become more expansive to also include the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) so that all the relevant countries are involved.

“Iran is in the Gulf region and any military effort will affect us all, let alone have an environmental impact,” he said.

“Ongoing talks are incomplete and the presence of the GCC states at the (negotiating) table will benefit everyone,” Al-Faisal added.