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Iran accuses Saudi of 'scapegoating' its way to develop nuclear weapons

Iran’s UN ambassador Kazem Gharibabadi in Vienna, Austria on 10 July 2019 [Aşkın Kıyağan/Anadolu Agency]
Iran’s UN ambassador Kazem Gharibabadi in Vienna, Austria on 10 July 2019 [Aşkın Kıyağan/Anadolu Agency]

Iran's UN ambassador Kazem Gharibabadi has accused Saudi Arabia of using Iran as an excuse to develop nuclear weapons following the kingdom's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir announcing it was "definitely an option" in a recent interview.

Ambassador and permanent representative to the UN, Gharibabadi said yesterday on Twitter "scapegoating and fearmongering are two common and classic methods used by demagogues".

"If you want to pursue a nuclear weapon programme, or you are seeking for an excuse to justify your lack of cooperation with the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] or your outdated safeguard system, at least have the courage to admit it and pay the price for it," he added.

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The Iranian foreign ministry has also branded Saudi's King Salman Ain Abdulaziz Al-Saud's calls for the international community to take a "decisive stance" to address Tehran's nuclear ambitions as "baseless allegations and hate-mongering"

On Monday, a day after the king's annual address to a top government advisory body, Iran's foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said in a virtual press conference that it was not "unnatural" for Saudi rulers to make such remarks.

However, the spokesman also reiterated that "Iran's hand of friendship is still extended to Saudi Arabia" and called on its rulers to refrain from "directing accusations against Iran."

Khatibzadeh added: "The Saudi king's statements have become repetitive, boring, and not unnatural", while also pointing out that "Peace cannot be achieved through killing the Yemeni people and cooperating with terrorist groups."

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